Pro Insight recently caught up with Jazz Gardner, from West Ranch High School (CA). The seven-footer with French ties is a modern big man who 247Sports has ranked as the #82 player in the country in their composite rankings. Gardner has flashed his unique, valuable, modern skill set in events all over the country this spring.
In this interview, Jazz talks about who he is as a player, and as a person; he also discussed his goals for the future and we of course got an update on his recruitment.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Jazz Gardner, from Hacienda Heights, California:
Pro Insight: How did you get to where you are today? Talk a bit about your background and your family.
Jazz Gardner: My dad was a McDonald’s All-American, he went to Cal [University of California-Berkeley] and Pepperdine. Right before he was about to go to the draft, he got a kidney infection and it stopped him [from going to the draft] and he had to get a kidney transplant. The doctors told him he wasn't going to be able to play ever again, but my grandma gave him her kidney. He met my mom in a church [in America] during his downtime, but my mom’s from France. So, my mom had to go back to France after they met. Later on, my dad got a call from this agent to go to France for a spot as an injury replacement. He played one season, and the next season I was born in France. He had a 13-year professional career. After he retired he devoted all his time to my brother and I, training us everyday and trying to get us to the best point he can take us.
PI: Sounds like your dad’s a big inspiration on and off the court.
JG: Oh yeah, definitely.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, how would you describe it?
JG: I’m a smart big man, that’s able to put it on the floor, shoot at a high clip, and I’m always gonna make the right play and find the person that is open.
PI: What are you looking for in a college program, both on and off the court?
JG: I’m looking for a good fanbase, people that are gonna support me. Also a coach that I can trust and devote my time to, that’s gonna believe in me and not take me out for little mistakes. Also just a good team that functions on and off the court.
PI: What schools have you been hearing from the most lately?
JG: I’ve heard from schools like LSU, USC, UCSB, Washington State, Kansas, Pepperdine, Virginia Tech, LMU, Houston, Arizona State, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Georgia, Dayton, St. Mary’s, Texas Tech, and Missouri.
PI: Anyone standing out more than others right now?
JG: Right now I’d say Texas Tech, Missouri, St. Mary’s, Georgia, Illinois, LMU, Pepperdine, Kansas, UCSB, and USC.
PI: Any schools you’d like to hear from that haven’t reached out yet?
JG: I’m not really worried about that. It doesn’t matter if I want to go there, it’s if they want me to go there. Whatever comes, comes, I’m not really trippin’.
PI: What do you bring to a college program as a person?
JG: I’m always someone who’s going to work super hard to get to where I need to go because I know that to get to success, the work needs to happen first. I’ll be a good, responsible, honest kid. My dad always told me to be a man of character, so I pride myself on being that.
PI: What is your dream NIL deal?
JG: Definitely BODYARMOR, I drink a lot of those, Gatorade too, and basically any shoe company.
PI: What’re your biggest goals finishing out the summer and heading into the high school season?
JG: I just want to win as many games as possible and work hard in the AAU stuff. Just win as many games as I can.
PI: What are your passions off the court?
JG: I play some video games, I’m really good at 2K. There’s not really much I do besides basketball and video games.
PI: Any other games besides 2K you like to play?
JG: Yeah I play GTA, DRAGON BALL FighterZ, Spiderman, and that’s mostly it.
PI: What's the best advice you've ever received?
JG: “Everything is written — your whole life is already written inside a book, all you gotta do is go out there and do it.”
PI: At the end of the day what do you want to be remembered for?
JG: I want to be remembered as a respectable player that always worked hard, and tried to be the best man he could be.