Hayward ready to lead young Jazz team

Hayward ready to lead young Jazz team

LEHI, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - At his inaugural basketball camp, Jazz forward Gordon Hayward says he is ready to be the leader of the team.
LEHI, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - At his inaugural basketball camp in Lehi, it was tough to tell if Jazz forward Gordon Hayward was teaching kids about basketball or just working with his teammates. 

Yes, the Jazz will be a very young team this season, but Hayward isn't fazed by the team's inexperience.

"There's a lot of things I didn't think would happen," Hayward said. "The lockout, coach Sloan, D-Will, we've kind of seen it all. It's going to be a challenge, but we're looking forward to getting started."

At the ripe old age of 23, Hayward has played in more Jazz games (210) than any other player on the roster. About to enter his 4th NBA season, Hayward believes he can become a true leader of the team.

"I'm ready," he said. "It's going to be a younger group of us. It will be difficult. We're going to make our mistakes, but we're going to fight our way through them, compete and be ready for every game."

Along with rookie point guard Trey Burke, Hayward is eager to grow and develop with Alec Burks, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter in hopes of building a solid foundation for the future.

"It's really exciting," Hayward said. "I'm excited to make mistakes with these guys, make great plays with these guys, the whole works. The only way we're going to get better is just by getting out there on the court and doing it."

Nearly half of last year's team is already gone. Al Jefferson signed with Charlotte, Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll signed with Atlanta, Earl Watson is in Portland, while Randy Foye was traded to Denver. Mo Williams and Jamaal Tinsley could also be on the move, but Hayward understands the NBA is a business.

"It is weird," he said. "It's definitely weird, but that's just how it works."

Hayward just hopes Jazz fans will be patient.

"Like I said, we'll work through our mistakes, but one thing the fans can always count on is we're going to compete," Hayward said. "That's for sure. We'll be out there competing every night." 

So while Hayward is spending the next two days teaching some 270 kids important lessons like, "Dream big because they can accomplish anything they want to if they work hard," the same could be said about the Jazz.


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