Towering 2.03 metre import Jaylen Larry is an integral part of the Smithton Saints’ starting five.
Starting out in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Larry scored a scholarship to Rochester College to play basketball while studying business management and communications.
His season was off to an action packed start with the Rochester Warriors unexpectedly finishing as the third top team in the nation.
After graduating, Larry was picked up by Spanish team Cb Deportivo Coin and spent a year living abroad.
“It’s real physical over there,” says Larry of the competition in Spain.
“We had guys speaking three different languages as well which made things tough.”
After this experience, Larry was glad to be on English speaking soil in Australia.
“Spain was real nice but I love it here. I just wish I had my daughter with me.”
Larry devotes time everyday to FaceTime his four-year-old daughter Amina.
“I miss her everyday, it’s difficult because she struggles to understand how hard it is for me to see her because she doesn’t comprehend how far away I am.”
He credits his smooth transition to Australia to the family-like environment of the Smithton Basketball Club.
“I love the team here, we work well as a unit and we’ve found our feet. We’re coming,” he says.
Part of Larry’s role as club import is to coach the Under 16 boys side, a position he is taking seriously.
“That’s the most rewarding part for me,” he says.
“I love sharing my knowledge and watching kids improve. We all have to start somewhere.”
With the season on the line and a hot run of form behind the Saints, Larry is confident the side will make finals this year.
“There’s a fire starting down here, we have a good bunch of boys and it’s all coming together.
“It’s a new year, new season and a new Smithton. We have new goals and we’re going to do new things.”
Larry and the Tall Timbers Smithton Saints will host a home game against Latrobe Demons on Tuesday April 9.
Tall Timbers Smithton Saints import Jaylen Larry looks for an option inward during North West Basketball Union action against the Devonport Warriors on Friday. Picture: Isaac Popowski.