By Catherine Garrett
BOUNTIFUL–Bountiful High senior Jadon Chism and his brother Camron, a sophomore, are key players on the Braves basketball team that also includes their dad Matt on the coaching staff.
Jadon, a three-year captain in the program, played the most minutes on the varsity squad last season and has been asked this year to come off the bench and provide leadership and energy onto the floor. Camron is the team’s leading scorer, averaging more than 15 points a game, and is among the state leaders in three-point shooting – with 48 made in 14 games.
“Jadon has taken on a different role and he doesn’t need to be a starter to be effective,” Bountiful head coach Mike Maxwell said. “He’s all about the team. We are simply better when he’s on the court.”
“Camron’s a kid that has to be on the court,” Maxwell said. “He’s not as strong and quick as he needs to be, but he’s going to be a superstar. Boy, can he shoot!”
Jadon, the 5’11” 145-pound senior, currently averages about six points a game for the Braves’ squad. He said he has been playing basketball for as long as he can remember, following his dad’s footsteps who himself was a college basketball player at Dixie State. Jadon developed his fundamentals in high-level AAU leagues in the Seattle, Washington area. The Chisms moved to Bountiful just prior to Jadon’s freshman year and he has been making his mark on the basketball squad ever since. As a freshman, he played for his dad on the junior varsity team and led them to a 20-2 record. “We had a very experienced group and a very big team,” Matt Chism said. “Jadon controlled the floor well and was just naturally a great leader. That’s just what he does.”
This past summer, Maxwell approached Jadon about not starting with the different – and much smaller, yet quicker – personnel he would be putting on the floor this season.
“Jadon brings a lot of leadership to our team and has such a high basketball IQ,” Maxwell said. “He is really experienced and even though he has sacrificed starting, he is so valuable to our team in so many ways.”
“I can’t even imagine how hard that would be, but he has the best attitude coming off the bench,” Matt Chism said. “He is a total leader on the second unit and brings positive energy and positive production to the game where his scoring, assists and shooting percentage are even more than last year. It’s simply a sign of his leadership and maturity as he gives 100 percent all the time, regardless of whether he’s in the game or not. He’s our unquestioned leader, on and off the court.”
“It’s not as big of a deal,” Jadon said, of his role off the bench. “What I bring to the court, I bring no matter when I come into the game. I can lead on the court or on the sidelines.”
Camron, a 6’1” 160-lb. sophomore, starts as Bountiful’s shooting guard after a year of being coached by his dad on the JV squad where he was the team’s leading scorer as a freshman. “My dad always used to coach me in Seattle and it reminded me of what it used to be,” Camron said. “He makes it hard on me and yells sometimes because I respond better to some yelling. Now, he helps me more personally with what I’m doing.”
“It’s a ton of fun to coach Camron,” Matt Chism said. “I’m very familiar with his game – he’s a confident, fearless scorer. He’s a really high IQ player with an ability to see situations and anticipate.”
“Camron’s a scorer – he’s already put in nine 3’s in a game,” Maxwell said. “He’ll be more tested in region as teams will be ready for him and it could be tougher for him.”
For as long as the Chism brothers have been playing basketball, this season is the first time the boys have played together.
“It is so much fun playing with Camron,” Jadon said. “He is such a fierce competitor. It doesn’t matter whatever it is, whether it is a card game at home or whatever, he is a winner. He can always find a way to win,”
“Playing with Jadon has brought us even closer and I’ve been able to see him even more as a leader,” Camron said. “I love it and we are able to connect on the court because we know each other so well.”
“They are very different players with different personalities,” Matt Chism said. “I’m certainly more critical of my boys and we’ve learned how to interact with each other and what type of feedback they want and when they want it.”
As an assistant for the varsity team, Matt Chism coaches individual skills and direction and enjoys working with them every day. “Camron does a really good job learning from Jadon and is the very first person to follow his brother,” Matt Chism said. “When they are on the court together, we are the most productive. They are familiar with each other and have the willingness to get the ball to the right person.”
“Matt has the hardest job helping to coach his sons,” Maxwell said. “I know personally that it’s hard to coach your boys, but it’s also so rewarding and a really special time. It’s not easy, but Matt’s a great guy and is doing really well with it.”
“As far as Jadon and Camron, they both have a very natural feel for each other, but they are very unselfish as well,” Maxwell said. “They are always looking out for the team.”
Jadon said it has been so enjoyable sharing his high school basketball experience with his dad. “To be with my dad every day, go to the gym and shoot, it’s just been a lot of fun. And then we come home from games and talk. It’s pretty special.”
The 18-year-old is trying to make the most of each day left in his senior season and is grateful for the life skills of leadership, maturity, goal-setting, team chemistry and the ability to see the big picture the game of basketball has taught him. “I’m definitely living it up,” Jadon said. “It’s already a special year and the way we are playing and meshing as a unit, it could be even more of a special season. Just having my dad and my brother there makes it even better.”
Camron, who is 16, has learned perseverance, among many other lessons, from the game he loves. “It’s taught me that even though it’s easy to get down on yourself, to always keep your head up and keep going,” he said.
The Chism boys hope that the Bountiful team can continue its strong play through the last month of the season and reach their peak heading into the state playoffs where they hope to make a splash.
“This could be a really special season,” Maxwell said.
It’s already been a pretty great experience for the Chism family.