Louisville high school prospects learn from time to time on one of the biggest stages in youth circles
NORTH AUGUSTA, SC – When he played for the West High School boys basketball team, Jayden Miles liked to go by the nickname, “The Boogieman.”
When he was running the court with Mac Irvin’s fire on this year’s Nike EYBL E16 circuit, his role was different – he was more like “Next Man Up.”
“Sometimes, you just have to back up,” said Miles, who averaged 8.7 points on 62.2% shooting with 9.6 rebounds over 27 games in his sophomore season with the Warriors. You have to learn how to play with good players, because that’s what it’s like in college.”
Miles didn’t stop bleeding when Western’s season ended with a three-point loss to DeSales in the 22nd District Championship. The first EYBL session began on April 21 in Cartersville, Georgia; and after averaging 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16 minutes per game as the Indy Heat started 1-3 on the road, the 6-foot-8 forward decided he needed a change scenes and entered the fire
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Traveling alone to Chicago for weekend practices and session preparation was reassuring — but also an eye-opening experience, Miles said. He got to immerse himself in a big city and the “gritty” style of basketball that Chicago is known for, and then put his skills to the test against top 2025 recruits like Cooper Flagg and Cameron Boozer up front who are the coaches of Division I. during live evaluation periods.
“It definitely boosts my confidence,” Miles said, “because I’m on the floor with two No. 1 picks in the (NBA) draft, so it’s like, ‘I can to be there I’m already here.’ “
Miles was one of three Louisville high school pitchers who cut their teeth in the lower age groups at the Peach Jam, an annual tournament — often attended by the likes of LeBron James and Kentucky’s John Calipari — that ‘ marking the end of the EYBL round. Joining Miles there in the E15 section was a sophomore guard Coul Edin (Male) and Jayden Johnson (Trinity).
“It’s been crazy to be on the EYBL, to be around the best talent,” said Edelen, who as a freshman just followed his older brother, Western Kentucky commit Jack Edelen, in being scoring 15.9 points per game on a team-best 44.4% clip. from 3-point range. “To be in this scene, to be on this stage, you have to take advantage of it.”
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Each member of the trio is drawing interest from Division I programs.
Miles, who visited Louisville this spring with West teammate Elijah Clinton, said he has recently been in contact with Marquette and Northern Illinois after receiving scholarship offers from Ohio, Southeast Missouri and Western Illinois in 2022.
Murray State has been inquiring about Edelen, who has received offers from Stony Brook and Jacksonville State over the past year and wants to follow the path of Louisville’s D’Angelo Russell to Ohio State.
Johnson has reported via social media offers from Cincinnati, Missouri, Texas A&M, West Virginia and Xavier. At Peach Jam, he told the Courier Journal that Arkansas, Indiana and Memphis had also started reaching out.
After returning from one of the biggest stages in youth hoops, the trio of Louisville talents look to build on what they learned this season on the tour.
“My (basketball) IQ — just trying to get that higher,” said Johnson, who averaged 10.6 points on 40.7% shooting with 4.4 rebounds over 32 games with the Shamrocks as a freshman. “And playing the right way, including my teammates.”
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Miles, however, won’t get a chance to see how his summer lessons would translate at Western. On Monday, he became the latest in a long line of talented players from Louisville to enter the prep school ranks, using the connections he made on the EYBL circuit to earn a spot at the Sports Academy Chi Prep in Chicago.
“You have to be crazy,” Miles said. “You have to really want him to play basketball. If you don’t give it 100%, you can’t play.”
Louisville men’s basketball reporter reached Brooks Holton at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @brooksHolton.
This article originally appeared on the Louisville Courier Journal: Peach Jam 2023: What Louisville high school basketball stars learned