‘Be the best version of myself’: Jaden Winfrey recaps her time as a Bearcat

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Cullman’s Jaden Winfrey. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. — In this interview, I talked former Cullman basketball standout Jaden Winfrey. Jaden is now playing for the Wallace State Lions but had so many great memories to recall that she made both on and off the court during her time at Cullman.

“My favorite sports memories were winning area my sophomore year and getting to cut the net down, the game jam sessions before the game started, getting my 1,000th point my senior year, pouring water on coach Josh Hembree after big games, and senior night. I had an amazing time during my four years at Cullman,” Winfrey said. “My favorite high school memories were spirit week, when we got to dress up every day, football games every Friday, Key Club, and prom.”

Jaden feels blessed to have played for Coach Hembree during her high school career and she tried to learn as much as she could from him.

“He was the best coach I’ve had so far in my career. He genuinely loved all of the girls on the team and wanted the best for us. He taught me so many things in and out of basketball. He made me a better person and pushed me to be the best version of myself. I wouldn’t be the player I am without him pushing me to be the best,” Winfrey said. “He taught me everything about basketball and more. I learned to never give up and push myself to accomplish my goals.”

Jaden learned so much during her time at Cullman and talked about how special it is to go there.

“Cullman taught me many things. I learned how to socialize and make friends, as well as all of the school stuff. I learned that school and grades are very important aside from basketball,” she said. “Cullman is a great environment. It has the best students and teachers. I’ve made all my friendships from Cullman, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. All the teachers make a big effort to teach the students. All of the athletic games and special activities made the experience a lot better.”

Jaden will deeply miss being at Cullman this year and she will also miss being a leader to the younger players.

“I’ll miss the friendships I made on and off the court at Cullman. I started my freshman year in college, and I already miss Cullman because of all the memories I made there,” she said. “Being a leader was very important to me and I tried to make basketball comfortable and fun for the younger players. I feel like me and the other seniors taught them the correct way to be a leader for when they are leaders to the younger players. We taught and helped them learn the drills and how practice went, etc.”

Jaden gave some advice to the students that just started high school this fall.

“Stay focused on school; it’s the most important thing of high school. Be social but keep your circle small and find out who your true friends are. Get in sports or clubs; they’ll help you get prepared for college. Go ahead and start taking the ACT. It’s very important for college and your major.”

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