Written by Lauren Roth
The beginning of a sports season is always filled with excitement and anticipation, especially for a team that is nationally ranked. The only thing that can make it better is when it is your first season with a team like it is for Hayden James. James is a freshman point guard for the Maroons men’s basketball team. He is from Manassas, Virginia and has been playing basketball since second grade.
For James, it has always been a dream to play in college. Roanoke’s incredible coaching staff was what made an impression on James from the beginning. The interest they had in him and the desire they had for him to play at Roanoke was one of the driving factors in his decision. In addition to the staff, James noted that the team culture, driven by hard work and competitiveness, would be an environment where he would fit in well.
Since the beginning of the season, Hayden has faced his own personal highs and lows. The toughest part of being a collegiate athlete that he has faced thus far would be the impact it is having on him physically. A nationally ranked team trains hard, and the fruits of their labor have proven to be plentiful so far. He is also a part of a team that, for good reason, wants to keep winning. With this mentality comes tough practices, both mentally and physically. This is a challenge that James has had to navigate. In addition to these challenges, James is also experiencing the extreme highs of collegiate-level athletics. With the hard work comes great satisfaction, and he shares that he loves to see the progress of both himself and his fellow teammates. Winning the games makes all the hours of training well worth it, especially when the team has seen such great levels of success even so early in the season.
There is a lot to look forward to for the Maroons. James is looking forward to making an impact and doing anything he can to help the team win, but most importantly, James is excited to show the Roanoke community just how good their men’s basketball team is. The Maroons’ next game is on Saturday at 2 PM against ODAC competitor Randolph-Macon, the third-ranked team in the country. The Maroons are currently ranked ninth in the country. It will be a tough game, so make sure to come out and support the Maroons and watch freshman Hayden James help lead his teammates to victory!