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EYBL: Five-star forward Jaylen Hoard adjust to ball in the U.S.

HAMPTON, Va. — Five-star forward Jaylen Hoard talked to Scout about the adjustments of playing ball in the U.S. compared to France, plus he discussed some of the schools in the mix of his recruitment.

Jaylen Hoard made a big impression at the FIBA u17 World Championships last summer and with a move to the United States he was slotted as a five-star prospect.

Hoard spent his junior season at High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian, playing for his father’s close friend – Keith Gatlin.

“It went pretty well,” Hoard said of his first year in the U.S. “My coach and everybody, they helped me come in and get adjusted to the American game. I had a few learn curves here and there, but overall it was a great season.” What was the biggest adjustment?

“Physicality and the pace of the game,” Hoard said. “It’s way faster pace and guys are way stronger. Those are the biggest differences.”

On Friday in his first game of the EYBL, Hoard scored 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting. A 6-foot-8 combo forward, Hoard showed he could run the floor, used his athleticism around the rim and made one nice face up move for a strong finish.

“I think I can play multiple positions and contribute a lot of ways,” Hoard said. “I can playmake, facilititate and score.”

Hoard said his recruitment has picked up recently and cited a handful of schools when asked who was involved.

MarylandWake Forest and NC State recently,” Hoard said. “Baylor came in and I’ve heard from South Carolina recently.”

Hoard said he took unofficial visits to Maryland and Wake Forest during the season.

“It was nice,” he said of his visit. “The coaching staff really made me feel like family.”

“Then I watched a couple of games at Wake Forest,” he added. “That was good. The coaching staff is real nice. They made me feel real welcome.”

New NC State coach Kevin Keatts also appears to be making Hoard a priority, as he watched him Friday night and recently stopped by his practice.

“He came in to a practice and he offered me,” Hoard said. “He’s a real good coach. I’ve heard a lot of good things about him. He’s close to my high school coach too.”

Although the recruiting process is about to ramp up, Hoard said he’s focused on other things at this time.

“For now, I’m trying to focus on AAU and the [France] National Team and then I’ll look at where I’m going to go to college.”

Hoard is currently ranked as the No. 14 overall prospect and the No. 2 small forward in the 2018 recruiting class.

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