- Adam Finkelstein
Jaylen Brantley (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) did it again Sunday morning.
The junior point guard hit his third game-winning, buzzer-beater of the season. This time from 25 feet away to lead Wilbraham and Monson over the Winchendon School. Even more impressive about this particular game-winner was that he did it while fighting off illness, having spent the better part of the week missing practice and school with flu-like symptoms.
Brantley is already coveted by a variety of high-major programs that value his ability to take care of the basketball, run a team and make shots from long range -- but it’s that inner confidence and ability to make big shots down the stretch that makes him even more unique.
This time of year it becomes more and more obvious which players have the mental tools to thrive in the game’s biggest minutes and those are qualities that can’t be taught; they simply are or aren’t a part of a player’s DNA.
For Brantley, they very clearly are, which should only make him all the more attractive to his rapidly growing list of college suitors.
The 5-foot-10 lead guard picked up his most recent offers from Rutgers and Georgia this weekend, adding to a list that already included Georgetown, Syracuse, Louisville, Missouri, Richmond, Rhode Island, Georgia Tech and Virginia.
“It’s becoming a long process and I’m ready to trim it down a little bit,” Brantley said following the game.
The incumbent point guard for the reigning Nike Elite Youth Basketball League champions, BABC, said that he won't be making any final decisions soon.
“I’m trying to wait until after the AAU season and see how that plays out,” he said.
With more high-level teams to run, shots to make, and games to win, it stands a pretty high probability that Brantley’s list could only get bigger before it gets any smaller.