Grow The Game® Player Spotlight 002: Jermaine Haley

Burnaby South to the Big Leagues. Join us as we catch up with Jermaine Haley.
December 16, 2020

Jermaine Haley.

A name many of us remember vividly as one of the best athletes to come out of BC in the last 20 years. Jermaine has had quite the ride since his time donning the black and yellow of Burnaby South's Rebels. Haley, the son of Jermaine and Paula Haley, was named to the BioSteel All - Canadian All-Star game in HS and was given a 5-star ratings by Scout as a point guard. At 6'7" 215lbs he possess a unique combination of size and skill at the PG spot, once we are not accustomed to seeing at the HS level here in British Columbia.

Following HS 'Maine as his friends call him committed to New Mexico State then transfer to Odessa College prior to joining legendary Bob Huggins' squad in West Virginia.

After his time as a full time starter and impact player WVU the past two years Jermaine is ready for whats next - The Big Leagues.

Read below for full interview with Jermaine.

VB: Tell us a little bit about how you got here, about your journey to this point?

JH: My journey hasn’t been the most ideal but I wouldn’t have wanted things to go any other way so far in my career. I’ve bounced around and been thrown in the fire so many times it’s made me a stronger player physically, but more importantly mentally. I’ve had the chance to play for a HOF coach and play in the NCAA tournament. Every step along the way has been more then difficult, but worth all the pain and sacrifice.

VB: How did you first get involved in basketball?

JH: I first got involved with the game of basketball when I lived in Miami. I was 3 years old and would play in an outdoor YMCA league on the weekends.

**Fun Facts**

Jermaine’s Father played football for the Toronto Argonauts, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins as a defensive tackle from 1998-2004.

His grandfather, Otis Haley, was a high jumper with the United States National  Team and set a national high school record of 2.21m (7-1 ¼).

VB: Who were key players in your process / upbringing within the basketball community (or outside) here at home?

JH: There are many great players I’ve played with or against but guys like Jadon Cohee and Mindy Minhas were guys at my time growing up who helped and pushed me to become a better player. During my run they really and helped push the core culture in the lower mainland hoop scene.

VB: Talk about your recruitment. How did it start and how did you get connected with New Mexico State?

JH: My recruitment started when I was in the 10th grade believe it or not. New Mexico State was the first school to offer me a scholarship and after that I got a lot of other good mid-major schools. After my grade 11 summer I was a rivals 5 star recruit and had offers from UNC, Oregon, Texas, UNLV, and many other high major power 5 schools.

VB: Since your time here in HS what have you noticed change / shift in Canadian basketball?

JH: Every year Canadian basketball grows, not only on the east coast, every year I hear about a kid from BC committing to a Division 1 school which was not a regular thing to hear only a few years ago. Vancouver basketball is on the rise and you will hear more and more about kids from the home accomplishing what we once considered to be unachievable goals.

VB: What made you decide to transfer to West Virginia?

JH: I never saw myself going to WV. I took the visit there knowing I wanted to go to Oregon because I wanted to play closer to home. When I went on my visit to WV I fell in love with the facilities and coaching staff. After that I told myself I needed to be there.

VB: What is your favourite memory from  WV?

JH: My favourite memory from WV was senior night taking down a Baylor team who was 1st in the nation for basically the whole year.

VB: Coach Huggins is a fiery guy. Let us in a little bit. What's your top Huggins story?

JH: My top Huggins story is when he made me run the stadium stairs for 3 hours straight. After that day I never pushed his buttons again. Coach [Huggins] made me a better person everyday.

VB: What are you most proud of to this point in your career?

JH: I’m most proud of  overcoming all of the adversity that has been thrown at me. Being a kid from Vancouver, British Columbia whom a lot of people had doubts about, to becoming a man playing and starting basically every game in a power 5 conference. That means a lot to me, just being able to represent Canada and more importantly Vancouver. I care so much about Vancouver basketball and all the people who do their part to keep growing the game in our city.

VB: What’s next for Jermaine Haley?

JH: G-league is what is next for me. Currently I am just waiting on dates and the G-League draft to see where I end up.

VB: What does a typical day look like right now for you?

JH: A typical day for me is waking up early taking my puppy out going to run or workout, then in the gym until the sun goes down. I like spending my off time in Vancouver because this is where is all started for me. My love for basketball was found in this city and my motivation when I am here is always at a all time high

VB: If you could tell your 15 year-old self something, what would it be?

JH: To never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something and to never be scared of an opportunity.

VB: You have had quite the ride and undoubtedly you have learned a lot. What is your advice for the next generation of young basketball players growing up in Greater Vancouver?

JH: Being a kid from Vancouver who has basketball aspirations is hard. No one ever thinks anything of it or wants to support your dreams in full. Work hard everyday and take advantage of every opportunity you have to get on the court. Find out what drives you and always keep that in your head; even when you think you have made it. The whole purpose of life for a basketball player is to become the best player that you can possible be the other things In life will follow suit if you are disciplined with your craft.

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We would like to thank Jermaine for his time and his insights. You have come a long way and everyone here continues to root for you on your journey! Jermaine is currently in Vanouver training and waiting for his next oppourtunity with the NBA G - League. Stay tuned for more content related to Jermaines journey to the next level!

Vancouver Basketball Team