Jayden Dudash is a senior on the Riverview High boys basketball team. Dudash, a 6-foot-4 forward, is averaging 11 points per game and a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game. Dudash is also tied for second on the team with 1.3 assists per game. Dudash's play has helped the Rams to a 10-5 record as of Jan. 9.
When did you start playing basketball?
I started on my first birthday. My grandpa (Fred Dudash) got me a little toy basketball as a present. After that, I've always played basketball. He actually built a basketball court in the backyard for me to use.
What is the appeal to you?
Basketball is probably the love of my life. That and my family. Whenever I play, it just takes my mind off things, even if I'm just shooting on my own. Whatever is going on in my life, I forget about it.
What is your best skill?
I do a lot of things. I don't know if one of them is my best thing. But I like playing defense and getting rebounds. Honestly, my main focus is on winning. I'm thinking about what I can do to help the team win. When I come out firing on defense, I think my teammates feed off that.
What have you been working to improve?
Being more of a leader. Every year of varsity basketball that I've played, there have been senior leaders that helped me and the other guys. I want to carry on that role and help the younger guys.
What is your favorite memory?
In fourth grade, my grandpa was at one of my games and he was able to get video of my first-ever buzzer beater. That's still my favorite memory.
What has led to the team's success this season?
Our coach (Brandon Knecht) has given us a lot more room to just play. We have more freedom on the court than we used to have. He was also my junior varsity coach, so some of us have known him for a while. It's been great so far.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
Me personally, I want to get past regionals. I want to win our district first, but then I want to get through regionals. That's something Riverview has not done a lot. We want to get to Lakeland (for the state tournament).
What is your favorite food?
Cheese pizza and wings.
What is your favorite school subject?
I like all the science classes I've taken. I like to learn about the world. We don't have much time here. I want to travel someday and experience it.
Which superpower would you pick?
I'd want to fly. Actually, if reincarnation was real, I'd want to come back as a bird. I just think flying is so cool. You can go wherever you want.
What are your hobbies?
I like to golf and to surf sometimes, when it rains a lot. But mostly it is golf or hanging out with my family.
What is the best advice you have received?
Someone out there is working just as hard as you, and they're not going to stop. I was told that when I was little and it stuck with me. I always try to work as hard as I can in order to keep up.
Finish this sentence: "Jayden Dudash is …"
Wholesome. I'm a pretty chill dude.