Jaden Vance picking up high-major interest after sustained success on Nike EYBL circuit | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / July 12.
  • Jaden Vance picking up high-major interest after sustained success on Nike EYBL circuit

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    KANSAS CITY — At Nike EYBL Session 4 in KC, The Vegas Elite program had a spot in Peach Jam on the line. They needed to stack up wins, or else they could slip out of the field. However, because of the play of several prospects, including three-star small forward Jaden Vance, Vegas Elite was able to slip into the field of the prestigious tournament.

    Vance played a huge part in this, as he led Vegas Elite with 17.0 points per game at Session 4 to secure two wins. The 6-foot-6, 180-pound small forward from Bella Vista Prep (AZ) also grabbed 2.0 rebounds and dished out 1.3 assists per game while shooting 60.7% from the field and 6-of-11 from 3-point range.

    After one of his games, Vance picked up an offer from West Virginia. He’s also fielded offers from San Jose State and Fordham in recent days. At Session 4, Vance told ZAGSBLOG.com UC Santa Barbara, West Virginia, Montana, Pitt, Colorado State and New Mexico State were recruiting him hardest.

    He broke down some of those options:

    UC Santa Barbara: “I like Santa Barbara because it’s a great area. The coaches are very welcoming. They’re all cool, the coaches I’ve met so far. And with all the coaches being welcoming, it feels like I can actually be at home over there.” In contact mostly with head coach Joe Pasternack and assistant Derek Glasser.

    West Virginia: “I just got offered last night. So I don’t really know a lot about the school yet. But it’s a big stage and I feel like I can thrive at that level. I feel like a new staff, it’s like a fresh start. You can show people what you really can do and everybody is at like the same level. So you are going to have to prove what you can really show at that level.”

    Montana: “It’s really the same thing as Santa Barbara. They reach out the most frequently. The coaches come watch games, they talk to you, all of that. They send you like player scouting reports and stuff, like what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are and how to get better at it.”

    Pitt: “The coaches really just texted me a couple days ago. So I really haven’t gotten a chance to meet the coaches or speak to them for real.”

    Colorado State: “There’s one coach that I talk to over there and he’s really cool. Like he reaches out really frequently. He helps me. He motivates me and cheers me on whenever I’m going to play. He’s always rooting for me so feels good.” Assistant coach Tim Shelton is who Vance was referring to.

    Vance has not taken any visits yet, but plans on seeing Montana and UC Santa Barbara soon “because they show a lot of love.” When taking visits, Vance is looking for a welcoming staff.

    “Welcoming team, too,” Vance added. “A team with players that can teach me things on the next level that I don’t know about. So I can really get up to them standards that they have at the school.”

    Vance is ranked a three-star prospect in the 2025 class per 247Sports and the No. 49 overall small forward. However, his play will likely lead to a major rise in the rankings. Vance describes himself as someone with length who can disrupt opposing players defensively. Offensively?

    “I like to get downhill, use my pull up,” Vance said. “My mid-range pull up that’s like my bread and butter, I get to that all the time. My catch-and-shoot is nice too.”

    Paul Suber, one of the Vegas Elite coaches, said Vance is a “sleeper” in the 2025 class.

    “He’s a hard worker,” Suber said. “Very intelligent. Very respectful. Super athletic. Listens. Very coachable. And most of all, he’s a great kid and fun to be around.”

    Vance’s father, Russell Vance, played Division II basketball but had his career cut short due to injury.

    “He motivates me to be better everyday,” Vance said. “And my mom, and my sisters, they always cheer me on. They always keep me motivated.”

    The small forward’s favorite player in the NBA is Anthony Edwards and his No. 1 hobby outside of basketball is playing Rocket League.

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