Jaden Arline the on-court coach for the Paul VI boys’ basketball
Passion, precision and balance.
These are the three P’s of the Paul VI High School Men’s Basketball Program.
The Eagles entered this season with plenty of firsts, but head coach Tony Devlin knew building the bottom two would take time with the graduation of three four-year-old starters and one two-year-old starter. That’s why he relied on elder Jaden Arline.
The Clementon native has been a key college contributor since his first campaign, but his role this season would be different. Arline has always had elders to look up to. Now he is leading by example.
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Arline realized just how important that was on Dec. 23, when Paul VI lost a double-digit fourth-quarter lead and fell to Camden Catholic in overtime, 65-64.
Arline struggled early and never found her rhythm. He forced shots and was too aggressive on the defensive end. He committed a foul and the Eagles let the game slip away.
“I felt like I let my emotions get the better of me that game and it really took me out of there,” Arline said. “I really had to have a conversation with myself. … I realized after the game that I had no voice there. I was just going out there, getting mad at myself for my own mistakes, going out there getting mad, getting mad instead of talking to everyone, making sure that everyone was fine and that we were doing the right thing about looking for him.”
Arline understands her job now. He’s the coach on the field. It promotes the precision and balance this young program needs to compete in the Olympic Conference and Non-Public A South.
The Eagles followed his lead as they are 8-3 and No. 8 in the South Jersey Mean 15 rankings entering Tuesday. Two of their three losses have been by a single point, the other against Camden Central.
“Last year I think I had two or three coaches there,” Devlin said. “…If they’re on the other end and he can tell someone to go somewhere, I can’t go. I sometimes try. It’s so precious (to have that). Putting guys in the right places, talking when we come back on defense, making sure we play the right set. I think he is getting used to this role and I think with each game he has gone further. Even training, I see it better and better. That’s his role on this team.
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Arline is not naturally vocal. He’s a guy who leads by example, so talking has been a work in progress.
It’s imperative as he tries to build trust between the Eagles.
Paul VI played with a lot of confidence in his first three seasons, going 58-14 during that span. Arline knew that Tyshon Judge, Hartnel Haye, Wisler Sanon, Jalen Boyd-Savage, Jordany Pierre, Andrew Harrell and Nicolo Nobili had their backs if he made a bad call or was out of position.
It always comes with this group, but the young Eagles have full confidence in Arline.
“There are times when he makes up for everyone’s mistakes,” rookie Manny Joe-Samuel said. “He can make everyone look good on both sides of the floor by helping in any way he can. … I can play with confidence knowing that I have Jaden right next to me.
Joe-Samuel is one of three freshmen who started for Paul VI, along with Judah Hidalgo and Adiel Fred. Joe-Samuel is the team’s leading scorer, but learning the game in high school took time. This is why he turns to Arline for all his questions.
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“Was young. We’re not very experienced,” Joe-Samuel said. for us to understand. … You’re able to see how it’s supposed to be as a college player. You know how you have to play, how smart you have to be, how hard you have to work to be a good college player, and Jaden is more than good. Playing with Jaden made a lot of things easier.
Arline wants to be a resource just like his former teammates were to him.
The judge taught him about patience, setting up the attack, waiting for plays to develop and not forcing the issue.
Boyd-Savage imparted the skills needed to be a leader.
Haye was instrumental in boosting Arline’s confidence.
Arline recalled a game against Camden in his first year when most of the team fouled, leaving him and Haye as the best attacking options.
“I didn’t shoot and after the match he told me that I had to be more confident on the pitch,” recalls Arline. “…You have to step up and really take control.”
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Arline wants her current teammates to do the same.
He sees tons of talent. He wants them to see it too because despite all the graduations, Arline has the same expectations for her team that the previous Paul VI teams had.
“We have dogs on our team,” he said. “…They are going to play their hearts out. I know all of them and at their best, you can really win good games. We can really go far when it comes to March and the playoffs.
All it takes is passion, precision and balance.
Josh Friedman has produced award-winning South Jersey sports coverage for the Courier Post, Daily Journal and Burlington County Times for over a decade. If you have or know of an interesting story to tell, hit us up on Twitter at @JFriedman57 or email [email protected] You can also contact him at 856-486-2431. Help support local journalism with a subscription.