2Jayden Boucher asserts he enjoys being a leader. This should come as little surprise when one learns he’s the son of New Zealand basketball great Dillon Boucher.
Jayden is a Year 12 guard at Rosmini College, Auckland - the dominant schoolboy team in New Zealand at present. In 2017, Boucher was a member of Rosmini’s National Championship winning roster and in 2018 Rosmini are Auckland champions, having only dropped a solitary game.
Dillon played a record 422 games in the NBL, winning nine championships and was also involved in four Breakers premierships and many internationals with the Tall Blacks. Was basketball a forced choice for Jayden?
“Dad didn’t mind what sport I played. I actually played football and rugby for a while, but being around basketball all the time made me fall in love with it,” Jayden answered.
Boucher’s love of the game has earned him a place with the Breakers Academy, training two or three times a week before school. Additionally Boucher was one of 20 boys selected for the inaugural Steven Adams basketball camp. Six leading coaches identified the nationwide talent.
“It was an amazing experience which lasted two days. We did a combination of practical and theory. The theory stuff might sound boring, but it was really invaluable hearing from players who had been to the US and experienced a lot in the sport,” Boucher reflected.
Adams himself was present and very accessible.
“Steven was great. He had time for everyone and his office door was open the whole time. The most valuable thing I learned from Steven is to be relentless and thorough all the time. He said Kiwis nature can get a bit casual sometimes and in the NBA that isn’t such a good thing,” Boucher revealed.
There’s nothing casual about Rosmini in 2018. In the Auckland Premiership final they thrashed Mount Albert Grammar School 80-48 to capture the title for the second time in three seasons. The result was a reversal of their previous meeting which MAGS won. What changed?
“We did a lot of scouting to fix the parts of our game that went wrong. MAGS are a big and athletic team so we had to prevent them getting inside and use our strengths which are speed and shooting,” Boucher divulged.
It should be stressed when Rosmini lost to MAGS, New Zealand representatives: Mitchell Dance, Kainoa Lepou, Marvin Williams-Dunn and Kruz Perrott-Hunt were all absent, but Boucher is keen to emphasise Rosmini’s depth.
“We’ve got 16 players on the roster so we run pretty deep. We expect everyone to step up when required and have faith they will,” Boucher said.
“It’s great when we have our National reps. The level of intensity and skill always goes up, but we’ve got good chemistry in the whole group,” Boucher continued.
This week Rosmini is seeking to defend their Zone 1 AA title. The top six teams form this tournament qualify for Nationals in Palmerston North in October. Rosmini is grouped with Liston College, Northcote College, Long Bay College, St Kentigern College and Manurewa College. All teams accept St Kent’s shouldn’t present Rosmini with to must distress. How does Rosmini guard against complacency?
“Our coaches are always pushing us to improve because there is competition within the squad and New Zealand is only a big fish in a small pond,” Boucher concluded.
Jayden is the oldest child in his family followed by Makenzee and twins Sierra and Kassidy. Dillon Boucher is presently General Manager of the Breakers while outside of basketball Jayden has expressed an interest in studying sports science.
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