JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jaylen Robinson liked basketball and he liked football.
So, what was the great separator when it came to preferring one over the other for the Providence star?
“I did not like the heat outside. So, had to stay inside,” Robinson joked. “And I was better at basketball. It’s not like I wasn’t good at football, but I was better at basketball.”
The decision was the right one for the 6-6 wing.
Robinson, the All-News4JAX boys basketball player of the year, has been a multiyear playmaker for the Stallions. His junior season was his best one yet, a two-way force who helped keep Providence atop the News4JAX Super 6 all season long and earning the No. 1 seed in the Class 3A state semifinals. Providence went flat in the final four, losing to Windermere Prep, a bitter ending that Robinson said will be a motivating factor next season.
“Keep grinding. Don’t look down at your opponent because anybody’s beatable. As you can see, we lost. We were the number one seed and they were the last seed and beat us. But just got to keep grinding. .. That was a beatable team, obviously. But you just got to keep your head up. Sometimes people have better games than you.”
When it came to picking the sport he wanted to focus on, Robinson said that playing indoors was only part of his thinking.
He loved the challenges that basketball presented him. Robinson was a natural post when he began playing, but he slowly added more elements to his game. Instead of being strictly an under-the-basket player, Robinson has evolved into a more fluid athlete for Providence.
“Middle school I was more like a big man playing the five [center position],” he said. “You know, didn’t really handle the ball. Just doing straight post moves. I feel like now I can play the wing and stuff and expand the court.”
Robinson, alongside teammates Mason Lee and Chris Arias, formed Providence’s Big 3. Arias and Lee did more for the Stallions on the boards. Robinson did more damage offensively and saw his ability as a wing-type player increase. Robinson’s offensive numbers (13.1 ppg, 64% field goal) led the team.
All-News4JAX boys basketball
Position, Player, School, Classification
G Nate Bunkosky, Ponte Vedra, Sr.
Point guard controlled the offense for Class 6A state runner-up Sharks. Averaged 9.2 points, 6.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game.
C Cameron Coachman, Oakleaf, Sr.
The 6-7 interior player averaged 9 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks per game for 24-2 Knights.
G KJ Jackson, Episcopal, Jr.
Appeared on more coach nomination forms than any other player. Averaged 18 points, 4.1 rebounds per game. Shot 39% from 3-point range.
F Mason Lee, Providence, Sr.
Combo guard/wing player averaged 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists per game
C Jaylen Robinson, Providence, Jr.
One of the Stallions’ big three players. Averaged 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds per game for 28-3, state semifinalist team.
G Caleb Williams, Ribault, Jr.
Helped get the Trojans back to the state semifinals. Averaged team-best 13.9 points, 5.3 assists, 3.7 steals per game.
Position, Player, School, Class, Notable
G Chris Arias, Providence, Jr.: Averaged 11.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists per game.
G Anakin Brown, Bolles, Jr.: Battled through some injuries and missed time, but excellent when he was on the floor. Averaged 19.9 points, 3.5 rebounds per game. JU commit.
G Darian Frazier, Wolfson, Jr.: Averaged 18.8 points per game and mentioned by two coaches as area’s best player. Added 3.7 rebounds per game.
G Kyle Jones, Paxon, Sr.: Averaged 13.9 points, 3.6 rebounds for 20-6 Golden Eagles.
G Beza Miller, Episcopal, Sr.: Sharpshooter for the Eagles. Averaged 14. Points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists per game.
G Mason Sword, St. Joseph, Sr.: Multiyear star for the Flashes. Averaged 18.6 points, 7.9 rebounds per game. Shot 62.8% from the floor, 34% from 3-point arc and 80% from the foul stripe.
Position, Player, School, Class
G Barrett Baker, Bishop Kenny, Sr.
G Connor Bailey, Eagle’s View, Sr.
G Juan Barbista, NFEI, Sr.
G Joseph Bargeron, Jackson, Jr.
G Jesse Basse, Fernandina Beach, So.
G Isaac Broxey, Columbia, Sr.
G Juan Bruce, Fletcher, Sr.
F/C Isaiah Bunso, Harvest Community, Jr.
G Camden Cooper, St. Johns Country Day, 7th
G Diego Dinonisio, Bishop Kenny, Sr.
F Ronald Durham, Jackson, Jr.
F Isaac Edwards, Impact Christian, Sr.
G Thomas Faucett, Orange Park, Sr.
G Bryce Gee, Beachside, Jr.
G Landon Geren, Bartram Trail, So.
F Kalvin Gilbert, Ribault, Sr.
G J’den Golding, Clay, Sr.
F Orlando Holland, Baker County, Sr.
C Axel Holmquist, Fleming Island, Sr.
F Keron Jackson, White, So.
G Dameon Jones, Paxon, Jr.
G Karl Knighten, Matanzas, Sr.
G Jake Larson, Nease, Sr.
F Dylan Lewis, Oakleaf, Sr.
G Josiah McClary, Atlantic Coast, Sr.
C Dylan McLeod, Mandarin, Jr.
G Travon Miller, Temple Christian, Sr.
C Larry Mitchell, St. Joseph, Sr.
F Israel Nuhu, Ponte Vedra, Sr.
G Curtis Phillips, Tocoi Creek, Jr.
G Kareem Preston, Menendez, Fr.
G Hampton Riedl, Creekside, Sr.
G Aaron Rivers, Oakleaf, Jr.
F Ben Ritchie, Ponte Vedra, Sr.
G Sam Ritchie, Ponte Vedra, Jr.
G Joshua Robinson, Trinity Christian, Sr.
F Grady Schwartz, Episcopal, Jr.
G Mandon Seapoe, First Coast Christian, Sr.
G/F Dominick Scott, Riverside, Sr.
F Pierce Shirk, Bolles, Sr.
G Isaac Taveras, NFEI, Sr.
F Jye Thompson, Yulee, Sr.
G Taylor Thompson, Impact Christian, Jr.
G Bryson Utter, Nease, Jr.
G Malcolm Warthen, West Nassau, Jr.
F Ethan Williams, Fleming Island, Sr.
G/F Trent Williams, Palatka, Jr.
F Ty’jahn Wright, Columbia, Sr.