Daniel Proulx ‘19
Juvaris Hayes is a junior point guard on the Merrimack Men’s Basketball Team. He is from Paterson, New Jersey, and has previously played for the New Jersey players. This season he has scored 618 points, 217, rebounds, 212 assists, and 125 steals on 53.4 percent shooting from the field. He will be returning for his senior year next season and looks to go professional after graduating.
It’s kind of like a family tradition. My brothers played and a lot of my family played. A lot of people don’t know this, but me and my brothers played football and basketball growing up. The hardest decision of my life was to choose the high school I went to and when I made the decision, I shied away from football and that’s what lead to me becoming a basketball player.
It was actually summer of 2014. I was like 15 or 16, and I was playing for the New Jersey Players. It was a travel team in the summer. We were just playing against a lot of talent and I had a great coach who just gave me the ball and let me play freely. I stood out against the talent and I kind of realized this could be something serious.
As far as the focus aspect everybody came into practice everyday and was real focused and determined to get a win or just win for the day. But we literally made a brotherhood, and I think I have the same relationships now that I did as with the teams in the past.
The most frustrating thing is basically knowing how talented your team is and underperforming. I have been in a lot of situations were we’ve gone to the championships and we’ve lost, but then the next year we learn from the mistakes and we’ve won a championship on every level.
There’s actually a bunch of people who have helped me. But the two people that really stick out to me; one is my oldest brother. He not that much older than me only two years. Literally, when I am having a bad game or bad days he’s on my back and he’ll tell me what I need to do and he’ll tell me where I went wrong. But to get to where I am now I had a mentor who guided me from middle school all the way through high school. He would call me every day. It would be 6:00 a.m. on my way to school, calling me to make sure I am up. He was the biggest part to getting me where I am now.
Future goals are I pretty much plan on playing professional. So, that’s pretty much it. Just to maintain the love I have for it and to stay focused. Try to enjoy the journey that it takes me on.