Regents’s Jayden Maten commits to Wartburg College

Published 5:14 pm Thursday, October 13, 2022

Regents senior Jayden Maten made history on Thursday as he became the first player in school history to commit to play for a collegiate basketball program.

The senior announced his intentions to continue his academic and athletic career at Wartburg College in a ceremony in front of the school Thursday morning—selecting Wartburg over St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

“I would like to thank all the coaches who spent time, money and effort recruiting me. It truly was a pleasure visiting the campuses and creating relationships… with that being said, I have decided to officially sign with Wartburg College,” Maten said.

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The ceremony was emotional for all involved as parents, coaches and teammates alike shared just how impactful Maten has been during his time at Regents.

Maten’s father, Lionel, said the emotions were overwhelming for his family.

“As a former athlete myself, a track athlete, I know the effort that goes into actually being able to physically reach this point—to have four more years to actually participate in the sport you love and so to see him fulfill and live out his dreams, it’s overwhelming,” he said.

Maten’s mother, Rose, echoed those sentiments, saying that her son has always had high ambitions but seeing him achieve his dreams put a smile on her face.

“Jayden has always been a dream chaser and he knows the importance of making it happen,” she said. “We always talk about what it takes to get to the next level and that nothing is going to be given to you—if you want anything you’re gonna have to earn it… he has what it takes to make it happen and to see him do it really puts a smile on my face. I’m so happy for him.”

Coaches were also quick to heap praise onto Maten.

Dennis Dupree, the head coach of Mississippi Delta Elite in Clarksdale, Mississippi, said Maten’s work ethic instantly separated him from his peers and put him in position to achieve his goals.

“The work ethic and the value that kid brought over to our AAU program in Clarksdale, man it was just unquestionable that he made a difference from the day that he stepped in the door,” Dupree said. “His dad would bring him over and he would arrive early, he would stay after, he did everything right to deserve today.”

Head coach Luke Buckner said it was Maten’s contagious personality and positive attitude that set him apart from other students and made the ceremony so emotional.

“Jayden has got one of those personalities where he walks in the room and automatically becomes everyone’s best friend,” Buckner said. “He’s spent kindergarten through 12th grade at Regents and everybody knows Jayden, everybody loves Jayden. It’s just his personality and his kind heart towards everyone, it’s hard to match that.”

For Maten, Thursday’s ceremony was the culmination of a years-long recruiting process that picked up heavily after the Lions lost to Delta Academy in the MAIS Class AA state championship back in February.

That’s when Maten began to receive calls from coaches at Division III universities, NAIA schools and junior colleges from across the country.

He eventually settled on Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa—saying the program’s family atmosphere and top-tier facilities set them apart from the competition.

“The coaches, the environment, the facilities they have—some of the facilities are top-tier and kind of compare to Ole Miss, so I’m truly glad to go up there and do that,” Maten said.

The 6-foot-2 combo guard became just the second athlete in school history to commit to play at the collegiate level after Jamya Fondren committed to play volleyball at Pearl River Community College last season.

He will be asked to step into a leadership role for the Lions this season after the departure of four key seniors from last year’s squad that fell in the state championship.

“It’s been fun watching him just kind of step up and say ‘it’s my turn now,'” Buckner said. “He’s doing a good job of that so I’m excited to see how it’s gonna carry throughout the season.”