It is simply time to recognize the stellar career so far for Jayden Gardner at East Carolina.
The Pirates haven’t always found the same success in wins over the past years but that doesn’t mean that this is a program that doesn’t deserve the attention. This season, finishing 8-10 and 2-10 in conference play, 6’7 junior Jayden Gardner hasn’t been slowing down from when we first saw him as a freshman.
Gardner, a North Carolina native, was always one that put up impressive numbers at the high school level, helping put Heritage HS on the map through his years. Even though he was overlooked at times by several college programs, Gardner has proven everyone wrong with his stellar play throughout his career.
Phenom Hoops saw the production early on, especially at the NC Top 80 in 2016, where this was said:
“No one played with more effort and energy than Jayden Gardner. His relentless work ethic made a big impression on all the coaches and media in attendance. Coach Rob Salter stated it best, “Jayden is a warrior. He plays so hard and does a great job of using his body to score. He understands the game and his teammates enjoy playing with him. He competes every possession and has a very bright future.” In addition, we were impressed with his on-court attitude and team play. He was a willing passer out of the post and was very unselfish. More importantly, he understands the game and knows how to makes winning plays.”
Eventually committing to East Carolina, Gardner made a HUGE splash early on as a freshman, averaging 16.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. After an impressive season and with the film on the table, Gardner didn’t slow down one bit these last two years, averaging 19.7 points, 9.2 rebounds as a sophomore, and finishing this season averaging 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
Throughout his career (80 games so far), Gardner is averaging an impressive 18.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, while shooting 50 percent from the floor. He currently ranks 15th all-time in the AAC in scoring with 1,445 total points and is just around 420 points away from the leader Quinton Rose.
There were many that didn’t expect to see Gardner have as much success as he has had so far but he continues to prove everyone wrong with another stellar season and if he decides to continue at ECU, he could locking his name into the conference record books.