Since 2002, the Jordan Brand Classic has given the world a glimpse of tomorrow’s collegiate and professional basketball superstars as they take the hardwood for one last game as high school athletes. Notable alumni include Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, among others.

Just like in years past, this class is filled with top prospects from across the country, who are competing on boys and girls teams in Jordan Brand jerseys, the Why Not Zer0.2 and Air Jordan XXXIII SE. On April 20, JBC will be held in Las Vegas for the first time, and both games will be live-streamed on Twitter @Jumpman23.

Here, two of the weekend’s brightest stars speak about being selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic, their future plans and how they own their game on and off the court.


 

Jaden Owens

Plano West High School
Plano, TX
College: UCLA

How has JBC been so far?

It’s been great. We did a team bonding and it was awesome. All of us basketball players are top in the nation and kind of have.. not an ego but are too cool and that really opened up all of us. It was so fun we started off being really cool then all of a sudden we are able to relax around each other. Also, now we’re now able to run on the court and be open with each other and play better cause we got to vibe and hang out together.

You’ve played in a lot of big games. What makes the Jordan Brand Classic so special?

The history of it. So many great players come through here. Last year a few of my friends went through it and talk about how fun it was. This was a great experience for them, a learning lesson, the staff, all of that. The history behind it, we just want to keep that going.

Thoughts on playing in the WNZ.2 this weekend?

I’m excited. They look nice. They honestly just remind of Russell Westbrook. That’s exciting maybe he’ll wear off on my game.

A lot of kids coming up look up to you. What is your advice to up and coming athletes when it comes to owning your game on and off the court?

Honestly being who you really are. Through social media people can kind of change who you are but knowing who you are and staying true to who you are and wanting to lift people up around you is what I feel like is most important. On the court, I’m a very unselfish player. I’m a point guard and want to set my team up for success. Just like off the court, I want to set up anybody who’s in my circle or even out my circle up for success. Staying true to who you are and not being selfish and getting caught up in the hype. Stay true to who you are and have fun.

Who are you looking forward to playing with or against?

I’m really looking forward to playing with Zia Cooke. She’s a great player. You see her on social media all the time. She knows every aspect of the game and she can score at all levels. I’m really excited to play with her cause she makes her team better, brings the crowd, things like that. I don’t get to play with my two Dallas friends so I’m kind of sad but they’re playing together so I’m super happy for them. The boy’s game is going to be crazy interesting. They have everybody. They have Cole Anthony, they have Armando Bacot, Tyrese Maxey, Jay Ramsey is coming from Duncanville which is in Texas where I’m from so that’s super exciting. They have Anthony Edwards, he’s a bucket.

What are your favorite Air Jordans?

1s, 3s and 4s are my favorite.

What’s the sneaker culture like in Texas?

We take it serious. Might not be as serious as New York and LA but we take it serious. I’m trying to bring that up. Texas is on the come up.

Jaden wearing the Jordan Proto-React


What was the proudest moment of your high school career?

Being an All-American. That and being in the Jordan Brand Classic. That’s all I need. That’s something as a kid you grow up wanting to do. The history behind both. To be able to be in both is an honor and true blessing. I’m excited to be able to play on this platform.


Cassius Stanley

Sierra Canyon High School
Chatsworth, CA
College: Undecided

What was it like to play at a Jordan Brand sponsored AAU team?

It was great. Always being around Jordan Brand is cool. They always got super cool stuff. Especially the events they put on. Throughout all my years in high school I’ve attended really cool Jordan Brand events. Playing with them during the summers was the ultimate experience. It’s Russell Westbrook’s team. Playing with those names on your jersey comes with a lot but it was cool playing for him and wearing the Jumpman logo. We talk a lot during the season. He gives me really good advice on how to further my game. It’s a great bond. A bond that most people don’t get to have, especially with an MVP.

You’ve played in a lot of big games. What makes the Jordan Brand Classic so special?

The comfortability with the people here. I’ve been going to Jordan Brand events since a really young age and this is like the culmination of that. It’s really cool cause with Jordan Brand, everything is top notch.

Thoughts on the WNZ.2?

I like them a lot. I got to see them in the beginning. Jordan Brand showed us the prototypes. It’s cool to see them come out now and tell the story on how I got to see them first.

Who are you looking forward to seeing on the court this weekend?

All the guys. It’s great to go out there and compete and test myself against the top guys. I’m just here to show out and showcase who I am.

What are the most important things you look at when it comes to deciding where you’ll take the next step in your career at?

Comfortability with the coaches and the college. Location. I think a system that will fit my game and help me get to the next level and obviously academics is a big criteria for me.

A lot of kids coming up look up to you. What is your advice to up and coming athletes when it comes to owning your game on and off the court?

Never be content. You might be doing some things well throughout your journey and you’ll get praises but don’t focus on it too much and become content. Be continually working. Always trying to get better is the key.

Off the court: Focusing on getting better at life. Always learning things. Knowledge is power. Further yourself academically, socially, everything.

What are your favorite Air Jordans?

All of the Off-White 1s. Cactus Jack IVs I love. Any Jordan III. Jordan IIIs are really slept on comfort wise.

What’s the craziest Air Jordan you’ve laced up in a game?

The Supreme Vs. It was risky because once you lace them up you throw away the walking around value in them. That was a big risk I took.

What was the proudest moment of your high school career?

Winning back to back state championships and getting invited to prestigious games like this.


 

2019 Jordan Brand National Boys Team

Home Team

Cole Anthony
Armando Bacot
Vernon Carey Jr.
Anthony Edwards
Rejean “Boogie” Ellis
Alonzo Gaffney
Trayce Jackson-Davis
Wendell Moore
Jahmius Ramsey
Chris “C.J.” Walker
Mark “Rocket” Watts
Romeo Weems
Patrick Williams

Away Team

Keion Brooks
D.J. Jeffries
Tre Mann
Tyrese Maxey
Jaden McDaniels
Cassius Stanley
Isaiah Stewart
Trendon Watford
Kahlil Whitney
Samuel Williamson
James Wiseman


2019 Jordan Brand National Girls Team

Home Team

Breanna Beal
Aliyah Boston
Lavender Briggs
Kennedy Brown
Jakia Brown-Turner
Maori Davenport
Nyah Green
Jordan Horston
Rickea Jackson
Haley Jones
Jordyn Oliver
Anaya Peoples

Away Team

River Baldwin
Kierstan Bell
Francesca Belibi
Samantha Brunelle
Zia Cooke
Angel Jackson
Charisma Osborne
Jaden Owens
Ashley Owusu
Ashten Prechtel
Kaelynn Satterfield
Celeste Taylor