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Player Spotlight

Jayden Forrest #13 ranked player 2023 Marion, Arkansas

5/13/2018 by Caliyah Camay NYAA Basketball

Every student athlete has the active task to study and compete. Balance is crucial for all student athletes because competitive sports and academics work side by side in the life of a student athlete. It is important to emphasize to especially young athletes that they’re a student first (and), athletes second. National Youth All American had an opportunity to speak with the 7th grade basketball stand-out player Jayden Forrest and father Dennis Forrest from Marion, Arkansas about how he balances sports, school and social activities. Jayden plays not only one or two but three sports; basketball, football and baseball.

Jayden is currently the 13th ranked player in the Class of 2023 (7th Grade) often underestimated due to his outstanding height of being 5’11’’. Keep in mind, the average height of a 13 year old boy is 5’2’’. He is perceived to be a power forward who can only make simple layups and rebound. But, he has the ability to shoot from all spots of the floor. This allows him to take advantage of all of his mismatches.  His extraordinary athleticism makes him a nightmare to guard and also serves as an intimating presents on the defensive end of the floor.  Jayden has a unique ability to guard all 5 positions on the floor.

Jayden’s father, Dennis, spoke about how he feels about his son’s current status and future.

Dennis feels “pleased” that Jayden is ranked #13 in the Class of 2023. Jayden is “on track” to where he wants to be in basketball career. He wants Jayden to put himself in a position to obtain a D1 scholarship to play basketball. With that being said Jayden is “very competitive” but also “self motivated” according to the elder Forrest. Due to Jayden rather large statue his father refers to him as a “Gentle Giant”.

Dennis Forrest spoke very highly about travel basketball. He thinks that it is important as a parent to give your child a traveling experience to compete (whether it is locally or different states). He also emphasized how important it is to him support Jayden. Youth travel basketball teaches players that success requires sacrifice. He believes parents should always try to remain involved and supportive.


Jayden tells NYAA that his favorite player of all time is the transcendent Lebron James. However, his favorite quote is by the 2017 Finals MVP  Kevin Durant . “You are the real MVP” reflects how his parents are his biggest fans and support him in everything I do. 

The best advice he has ever received was from mother, “She told me To Be the Best at Everything and Take Advantage of Every Opportunity.


Jayden spoke to NYAA about his dream of hopefully playing in NBA. However, if he “does not make it to the NBA, Jayden will pursue a career in sports medicine.” Which is very achievable for him since also a Honor Roll Student. NYAA Basketball believes Jayden will make an impact in the world as person whether he is unbelievable professional athlete or whatever endeavor he chooses.