Jaide Hinds-Clarke scored her 1,000th point during Westwood’s 61-28 win over Cliffside Park on January 19, 2016.
Hinds-Clarke is a quick, versatile center, who dominates inside the paint. Hinds-Clarke can reach over 10 feet when she jumps and has never lost a tip-off. She wears the number one and people frequently say, “Number 1 on the court and number 1 in our hearts!” She is a great team leader and everyone loves her. Next year she will play for Richmond on a full basketball scholarship.
The 1,000th point milestone was more difficult for Hinds-Clarke to reach because she has not played as many games as most players. When she transferred to Westwood from Saddle River Day she had to sit out 30 days. She also missed the first six games of her senior year due to an ankle injury. The fact that this accomplishment came early in her senior year is a testament to how tirelessly Hinds-Clarke works for offensive rebounds and to draw fouls. Hinds-Clarke shared that the team goals are to make a run in the BCWCA Bergen County Tournament and the NJSIAA State Tournament. They are striving to win sectionals again. They want to win their league for a third year in a row. They concentrate on these goals by “Treating every game as if it’s our biggest game of the season. What I want more than anything is to leave Westwood Basketball and make a statement with my team about what a small school is capable of achieving. I believe we can play with anyone, we just have to take it one game at a time and keep our composure regardless of the competition,” explained Hinds-Clarke.
Hinds-Clarke shared that the following people have helped her reach this level of success: “I have to give a huge thanks to my parents for supporting me through everything. My Mom has been by my side for four years traveling and making sure I had everything I needed to put me in the best position to succeed.” She went on to explain, “I play for the people who have helped me get to where I am today. If it wasn’t for each coach I have ever had, something about me and my game would be different; whether it was my jersey number or my favorite go-to post move. Coach Collis has taught me to walk on the court and believe that I am the best player on the court. Regardless of who my match up is, I always vow to play with more heart and energy than the next girl.”
This past year Hinds-Clark started training with Mike Gee from Ready To Dominate. She shared, “Training with Mike Gee is my favorite addition to my game. Training with Mike has taught me body awareness, toughness, and it has increased my drive. Training is motivating and with Mike you constantly want to push yourself to do more. This season has definitely been my strongest season from a physical stand point. Before hurting my ankle I was in the best shape, I’ve ever been in.”
Hinds-Clarke played AAU for Hudson Valley Elite (HVE) under Coach John Reilly. From this experience Hinds-Clarke said, “Having John Reilly as a coach has added an extra dimension to my game, pulling me out of the paint, and teaching me not to be afraid to shoot the ball.” HVE plays a tough showcase circuit in front of some of the top division one teams in the country. This is how Hinds-Clarke was discovered by Richmond, as well as many other colleges.
“Playing for HVE has engraved toughness in me, which is something I didn’t have in 8th grade because I let people push me around,” she said while laughing. “AAU is a different ball game. When you go to practice there are girls who are just as tall or even taller than you. When you play with HVE you need to have a competitive spirit. You have to want it more than anyone else to be the best. You treat practices like games, and games like championships. You cannot take a break for even a second. There are no plays you can take off. You have to be consistent.”