Mesquite High School's 6-foot-1 sophomore guard Jaylen Wollangk is one of Arizona’s underrated but relentless and determined 2024 guard prospects. After helping lead Mesquite High School to this year's 4A State Championship, Wollangk will now look to set the tone this spring and summer on the club circuit. He will also will be one of Mesquite's main leaders next season, as he will be teaming up with one of the top underrated guards in the state's 2023 Class, Cohenj Gonzales, in the backcourt.
Jaylen will playing with his long life-time club program Team Arizona this club season - playing alongside his long-time club teammates Cohenj Gonzales and Isaiah Kai. Jaylen has been playing with Cohenj and Isaiah since he was 5-6 years old. Jaylen also has a really good connection with his club Head Coach Josh Gonzales.
Jaylen has been playing basketball since he was 3 years old. Jaylen played a couple different sports when he was younger, as he played baseball and football. Jaylen realized later over time that basketball was the better sport for him. Jaylen has been playing against older competition, since he started playing with Isaiah and Cohenj. Jaylen started to realize he can play at a high level, after playing in just two games.
In 2020, on July 6th, Jaylen got in a horrific ATV accident, in which he suffered being in a wheelchair for (8) weeks. Jaylen dealt with multiple injuries after the accident - suffering a fractured pinky, middle finger and a severely injured foot. He lost his skin on his foot and his fingers. Jaylen was told by the doctor that he would not ever play basketball again. Jaylen had to get surgery for his foot and fingers. After (8) weeks in a wheelchair, Jaylen had to learn to walk on his own feet again. He started to rehab (5) times a week. He went to the MOVE Human Performance Center to get his strength back in his lower body and fingers. Jaylen was out of action for (6) months. On January 19th at the beginning of the 2021AIA COVID season, was the day when Jaylen was cleared to return to action.
Jaylen got an opportunity to play in his first game on the varsity level. He got the feeling that he could really produce after the first two games. It was difficult for him to dribble the ball at the beginning, due to the impact to his amputated fingers, but later he was able to mentally get the feeling of the ball. Jaylen believe in himself all along that he was gonna be back on the court. A very emotional moment for Jaylen, as he played his first game on varsity as a freshman.
In his second season on varsity as a sophomore, he was a big help for Mesquite's journey of winning their program's first ever State Championship. Jaylen was really good defensively for Mesquite, as he became stronger in his upper and lower body, which gave him an advantage to rebound more and attack to penetrate. He did a great job of defending the best players on the floor. Jaylen does a really good job of setting up his teammates and create offense, to make the best plays he can make for his teammates. Jaylen had great teammates at Mesquite, as he played alongside a lethal back-court of Cohenj Gonzales and star guard Nate Calmese. Jaylen knocked down a big 3-pointer late against St. Mary’s, which helped Mesquite punch their ticket to the 4A State Title game.
Jaylen won his first ever State Title in his young career. It was very emotional night for Jaylen, after all the adversity he had overcame. Jaylen is thankful to have his great teammates and Head Coach Shawn Lynch behind his back.
Jaylen will look to gain more confidence with his scoring this coming spring and summer club season, so that he can be more productive next season for Mesquite.
His goals after high school are to play college ball, and then become a firefighter and a real estate agent. Starting this spring and summer, Jaylen is planning to show college coaches, media and scouts what his game really looks like. Jaylen can defend many levels, is a strong ball-defender has a high basketball IQ, and plays physical on both ends of the floor. He plays the right way and loves setting his teammates up for success.
Jaylen will look to become a different player over his next two years of high school basketball.