Jaden Potts is an 8th grade student at John Sevier Middle School and part of the 2016 cross country state championship-winning Sevier team.
Potts also plays basketball and indoor soccer for Sevier and runs track in addition to cross country.
Potts has been running and playing basketball for as long as she can remember. She actually participated in her first “Crazy 8” race when she was only 3 years-old.
After completing her cross country season, Potts is now spending most of her time training with the Sevier girls’ varsity basketball team.
“We practice 6 days per week,” she said. “We work on shooting, ball handing, and skills every practice. Over the summer, I go to lots of camps and get picked by multiple teams and play with new girls.”
Before the start of the basketball season, she spent most of her time running.
“We do speed workouts and long runs that can go up to 5 miles,” Potts said. “The coaches also encourage us to eat healthy during the season, which keeps you from eating what you want to. We run every day during the season.”
The best part of running, to Potts, is the feeling of crossing the finish line.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” she said. “You’ve worked so hard and it finally pays off. When I lose a race or game, I get very mad. I’m really competitive, so it kills me to lose.”
Potts’ parents have had the biggest impact on her athletic career. They inspired her to play basketball because they played basketball in their youth.
“They’re always there for me no matter what,” she said. “If I play a bad game, they are always there to pick me back up. I would not be where I am today without them.”
Outside of Sevier athletics, Potts plays AAU basketball, which is the highest level she can compete in. Potts has played basketball 12 months every year since 1st grade. She starts out with the school team, then plays AAU basketball in Sevier’s off-season, and gets back to the school team in time for the next season.
Part of what makes playing sports so appealing to Potts are her team mates.
“All of my closest friends play sports with me,” she said. “We have a bond that is so strong that it cannot be broken.”
Basketball is her favorite sport.
“I’ve fallen in love with the game and have so much fun doing everything about it,” she said.
Her greatest accomplishments as an athlete have been being a part of a basketball team that won 3rd in the nation and winning the state cross country championship with Sevier.
“It was my very last meet and I had a perfect middle school career,” she said.
Still, participating in sports non-stop can be difficult.
“It is rare that I get a day off to rest,” she said.
Sevier’s “Tribe Time” helps her balance sports and academics.
“It helps me get my homework done if I have a game or practice,” she said. “During ‘Tribe Time’, I really focus to get all of my homework done so I have time to study after a game or practice.
In the future, she hopes to continue her involvement with sports.
“My dream and goal has always been to play college basketball,” she said. “I plan to see where that takes me in life.”
She also has some advice for her fellow athletes.
“Always be the best you can be and give 110% effort on everything in life,” she said.