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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Chomp: SFSU Men’s Basketball forward Jailen Daniel-Dalton, from the bayou to the swamp

The Chomp: SFSU Men’s Basketball forward Jailen Daniel-Dalton, from the bayou to the swamp

Welcome to the Xpress podcast, a podcast that brings city and statewide perspectives to SF State news. In the latest episode of the Chomp podcast, staff reporter Victor Harris Jr and sports editor Arman Archouniani chat with San Francisco State University men’s basketball player Jailen Daniel-Dalton. 

Intro 

Victor

Welcome back to the Chomp podcast. My name is Victor Harris, Jr. I’m a writer on staff.

Arman

And I’m Arman Archouniani, the sports editor on staff. 

Preview of the Show

Arman

Today we will be talking to SF State men’s basketball player Jailen Daniel-Dalton, who just won Gator of the week from November 13 to the 19th. We’ll jump straight into the interview. 

Interview

Arman

Alright, so today on the Chomp pod we’re here with Jailen Daniel-Dalton. How are you doing today? 

Jailen

Good, bro. How are you? 

Arman

So far so good. Yeah, me and Victor got a bunch of questions to ask you. So far, so good on the season. You got a Gator of the week last week? How was that like?

Jailen

It was good, bro. It was really cool to see just seeing the work that I put in, like start to pay off bro and come to fruition it was it was nice.

Victor

I’m gonna read a quote. 

Jailen

Go ahead bro.

Victor

“I’m just a guy that loves to hoop. Hope that one day I’ll be able to do it as a job and I’m dedicated to do what it takes to get there. All I need is an opportunity.”

Jailen

Yeah.

Victor

What does hoop mean to you bro?

Jailen

It’s still crazy you found that hoop means a lot, bro it means a lot like I’m, I’m really passionate about it. I really love the game and I would love to get paid to do it, bro like, whether that be here like NBA, G league or anywhere overseas like, I think it’d be really cool to do and, you know, just just be able to play basketball like wake up and play basketball as a job, bro like I think that’s really cool.

Arman

Yeah so just taking it back to your high school days. How was high school like at Mountain View? What was that process like?

Jailen

The process at Mountain View? It was cool, bro. Like, like I had all the I had all the want and the drive to get to where I am but I didn’t really have any direction. I didn’t have anyone point me or point me to where I should be going or really putting me on game of like how the whole process is like I didn’t I didn’t even, like my mom had to force me to take like the SAT and ACT I didn’t really see it. I was like yeah.

Victor

You’re not alone. 

Jailen

So you get it bro but yeah, really sitting me down and show me like the formalities like you know, I’m in my head, I’m a teenager thinking I’m gonna just hoop and get a scholarship and you know, coaches just gonna call me like if I hoop they’ll find me bro but it’s so much more that goes into it so.

Victor

Like how was your college recruitment like?

Jailen

Bro, out of high school, it was practically non existent because I didn’t play AAU bro like I didn’t have the money for it so I was really like, in the summers, I was just working out like just shooting around like, you know, trying to get better, but you can’t really, there’s only so much you can do as a person like you really need like a trainer or like outside outside perspective or opinion to like really tell you what you need to do to get better so.

Victor

Just to get to D-2 and no AAU, nothing, no exposure. That’s crazy in itself, shout out to you for that one.

Jailen

I started playing basketball in eighth grade bro. 

Victor

For real?

Jailen

Yeah, in eighth grade and I was trash. I sucked I’m telling you I suck like it was so bad like I was I was like six foot kind of athletic like, you know, I could touch rim a little bit but no skill at all like, I was just a big I hated that bro like, and that’s y’all dont know this but that’s really what drove me to like get good at the game like, bro I had a YMCA down the street from my house and every morning in the summer, I would wake up at like six walk to the Y go crazy like, I’m in there there doing I wasn’t even like doing real drills bro like, I was doing step backs and stuff like, like Dame used to be my favorite player at that time. I’m watching I’m doing like 10 step backs each direction like any move I did, it was 10 one way 10 the other way I had to make it so I was just doing stuff like that all day like it looks so crazy because you see like a center in middle school trying to do all this stuff but yeah, I was going crazy bro but.

Victor

Lowkey like you was ahead of the game at that point, bro, because it’s like that’s valued now. They need that. So like you didn’t even know what you was doing but you was doing something bro.

Jailen

I was doing something but it was like like if you were you know how to get like the tracks and you walk in you can watch the basketball like you watching like a middle school center, like doing something he knows damn well he shouldn’t be doing, it was outlandish but, yeah, so I started playing in eighth grade. I wasn’t too good then when I got to Mountain View, mind you another thing y’all didn’t know so my parents were in the military so I was always moving around and stuff and when I got to Mountain View, that was my ninth school bro,nine schools in nine years, bro. Think about that like it’s crazy. So I’m moving all over the place, the curriculum was hard like we in Silicon Valley, bro like kids was taking like trig as a freshman. I’m like, what is trig bro what are y’all talking about? I’m in all the freshman classes bro like I’m struggling too so my freshman year I ended up not being able to play because of grades because the transition was too tough bro and then oh god like that just that hurt me man like that really hurt me like, because I know I was good enough like they told me I would have made the team but I wasn’t academically eligible bro so I used to get so much crap for that and like at one point I didn’t want to play basketball no more row like it was bad because like I mean like I’m killing people at lunch and they like “You ain’t got the grades you suck” and I’m like how me not having grades mean I suck like it was messing with me somewhere I don’t even know if I want to do this no more but then my mom was like, “What are you talking about” like, you know, you did all this like, you know, you talk all this and about wanting to play so. I don’t know, but then my sophomore year I got the grades bro, barely but we was trending up. That was the that was the main thing we were trending up grades was getting good. Finally get to get on the court. Now that’s my second year ever playing basketball bro as a sophomore on JV my first ever high school game I dropped 22 and I think I had like 10 rebounds but mind you mind you second year ever playing so I smoked the game winning layup bro we lost the game. Oh my god.

Victor

I thought you’re gonna say game winner I hit stepback.

Jailen

Bro it was like a stack at half court and like I faked him on a back door wide open he like brushed past me and I smoked it off the rim. Oh my god. I almost quit. 

Victor

Did you go to sleep that night?

Jailen

 No, like my coach, everybody was looking at me like ‘he is trash’, I have the varsity coach right there too he was watching me. I had such a great game he looking at me ‘oh yeah, we can pull him up’. I’m like ‘Oh I’m gonna hit varsity No. No.

Victor

No that’s tough actually. I am sorry you had to go through that.

Jailen

I mean it got me here bro I guess.

Arman

Your time at Gavilan College, how was what was kind of like the end goal of Gavilan, where did you want to go?

Jailen

That’s easy bro just get a scholarship play at the four-year level like that’s that’s what you’re there for like you’re not there to like obviously you make memories in the process bro but you’re there to move on like you don’t want to get stuck you know get good grades get my grades right, find a school to go to and hoop bro and also like you know that’s that’s the off the court stuff but on the court just really progress your game and all shouldn’t be as best as you can before you can transfer.

Arman

What kind of what was the like deal breaker for you that hey SF State’s my school, like what was that feeling like?

Jailen

Like, what about SF State?

Arman

Yeah, what about SF State basically made you make the decision? 

Jailen

So it was Vince because he reminded me of Derek like I need he’s a goofy guy but he gets intense like serious when he needs to like that’s what I like. He played pro. I can respect that bro like, I need to learn from a guy like that and also it was the distance, distance is really close to home like I can drive home like right now. What time is it bro? Like, yeah, I could drive home right now and come back and still get here before practice like, so. That was big for me and my family and stuff like that and then um, you know, I came and watched a couple games and I loved the crowd, bro. The crowd you know, it was easy to picture myself on the court and like going crazy in the crowd’s going “Ahh” so yeah, that was big for me.  I’ve never played at a school that had like the student section under like, on the baseline. I think that’s so cool, bro. Like, I don’t know if yall seen it but in games I’d be dapping people up, I’ll be talking.

Victor

Oh, I peeped.

Jailen

Ya, I’ll be getting into it with the crowd so like, I love that I feed off that so that was something that was good too like seeing how everybody come out and show support. I love that.

Victor

Shout out the swamp. The team has already been going crazy. You know 4-1 start, what’s been the recipe bro? Y’all just blew out Pacific Union.

Jailen

Bro, so the recipe bro is really just been us worrying about ourselves, like sure we do scouts and stuff for other teams but like, on the keys to success, it’s always at the end of it, it’s always making sure that we play our game and we do what we need to do like we you know, we know who we are so just coming into every game and not letting the other team dictate what we’re going to do, like, you know, we hit first, we’re not going to beat ourselves, you know what I’m saying? Like, we’re not going to allow somebody else to win because we beat ourselves or we shot ourselves in the foot, just really having fun with it and staying positive and just building each other up every day bro. That’s all it’s about.

Arman

Yeah, maybe in your first practice with the team did you kind of feel the togetherness or did that build over time?

Jailen

No, no, not so like, it was there but it wasn’t what it is now, if that makes sense like it definitely took a lot because I mean we we came in and we were all like ‘we’re a close team’. We’re together all this like brotherhood stuff but then we played Menlo and got our we got our teeth kicked in Menlo College and then coach like really gave us a reality check, you know, he’s like ‘Is this what you guys like really want to do’ a real wake up call, bro and we all bought in and decided we weren’t gonna let something like that happen again and ya.

Arman

Yeah, so quick question about the team. How do you guys envision this season? What do you guys want to get to?

Jailen

We want to get that conference title, bro. That’s what we want for sure when you will know what you guys wouldn’t be able to know but when you go in the locker room, there’s three, three picture frames and the bottom one is the conference title bro, next one is regionals and then I think the last one is nationals and like my coach said he wants to have all these filled by the time he’s done in his career. You know, obviously the first one is the conference title. That’s the that’s the one you can foresee. That’s the one you can actually build towards, like, you can’t really build towards a national championship that’s too far ahead. You know, like, why would you have so many steps just to skip and go to the last one, you know, so we’re, that’s the one we’re focused on but like, like, it’s our goal, but you know, we’re not gonna to obsess over it in the sense of like, oh ‘conference conference conference’, like you know, we got to focus on every day, getting better every day, making sure we’re progressing like each day we’re building so we can put ourselves in the right position to winning.

Victor

And I know you’re talking like a lot about being present, and like being where your feet is at but yeah, just looking at the makeup of the team is like, you guys got a lot of transfer juniors. You guys got some real impactful freshmen like Donovan. Yeah. Do you really think you guys have like a real shot? Like, over the next two years. 

Jailen

Yeah, I do. I do like, Donovan, he’s young, but like, You guys didn’t see him in open gym sometimes bro. He’s so good. He is so good like, bro he’s strong, he’s like fundamentally sound he could shoot like, he could finish bro, like he could pass like. As a freshman bro like, he’s so good but our our transfers like Ty I already told you like Ty going to get a bucket bro like that’s what he gonna do he gonna go get a bucket. Me. I could get a bucket, I could rebound, I could defend. I could pass, I could shoot, like, I can do a little bit of anything so like, I’m just really I’m like the what do they call it bro like a switchblade. 

Victor

Swiss army knife.

Jailen

Swiss army knife, so put me wherever you need me to be and I’m gonna do it for you so yeah, I really think we can get it like for sure.

Arman

Yeah, just knowing that maybe your whole team isn’t a bunch of seniors you have that like, extra year, next year, how is it kind of feeling like, do you feel like this could be a building block for next season or do you guys think like, ‘Hey, this is the year that we can really take advantage of.’

Jailen

Yeah, so I’ll be thinking about that alot, bro and I think it’s both like they’re intertwined like, obviously you know obviously we’re building toward like me personally, like, I want to be better than I was next year than I am this year but you know why wait until next year to be like the best that I could be, you know what I’m saying and I think that’s something that the whole team could be thinking like, or like is thinking like you know, because we have everything we need right now like why wait, why wait in like you know, ‘Oh like this year is just, you know, getting our feet wet Just seeing how the team is and the next year we’re gonna go crazy,’ like nah bro like, we’re gonna go crazy this year, and go all out this year and then if we don’t get it now we know wat we need to do go back to the drawing board and I think we got a head start on our development for next year but yeah.

Victor

And then you talked about a little bit, you know, like, you want to progress your game, but at the same time, you know you gotta make sure you do within like the constructs of the team goals like how hard is it to balance sometimes like as an athlete like, you know, like, ‘I worked on my game this offseason, I really want to be able to showcase what I did’ Yeah, between, like, you know, ‘I still gotta work within offense and stay within my team.

Jailen

Bro I think it’s, it’s hard, but it’s possible. Like, I came from a team where I was getting like, every shot bro. So is like I had plays like, like every play was like designed for me to get a look, you know what I’m saying so like, I feel like that’s the case here like not every play but they started like making plays for me to be more aggressive because that was something I struggle with early in the season like I didn’t want to be a ball hog so I ended up being too passive, like I wouldn’t shoot at all. So just really finding that balance, bro it’s just it’s all about finding balance and if you got maturity and like you sit down with the coaches and the team and stuff like I had so many talks that they’re like, ‘Bro, you’re not a ball hog, like you’re you’re you’re like the most unselfish player, like you need to shoot’ like in practices I’ll pass up a shot and they yell at me ‘Like bro shoot the ball’ like you know what I’m saying so it’s definitely possible. You just gotta have the right people in your corner, you know have the right mindset every day like sometimes like I was always like, I’m always the guy like, ‘Oh no, I made the right play like I passed it because he was open’ but like sometimes the right play is me shooting like, so. Yeah, bro I mean, I think anybody could, it’s hard on the surface level but once you dive into it and you start taking action towards it. You’ll be alright bro.

Arman

Yeah one last question for me is you know, born in Louisiana how was the food, how’s the lifestyle there?

Jailen

The food is great bro. You should definitely try it bro if you haven’t already, get on that.

Arman

What’s a top three for you?

Jailen

Top three, I need the gumbo bro, I need the gumbo the crawfish is great bro. Crawfish is great, for a third, I’m stuck bro, I ain’t gonna lie.

Arman

Top two is good. It’s a very valid top two.

Jailen

Leave me on the top two.

Victor

I’m kind of shocked he didn’t say beignets but I still haven’t had an authentic beignet bro.

Jailen

Me neither bro.

Victor

Okay, so I can’t get.. I’m lowkey hearing the overhype just a little bit so it’s making me nervous, I don’t know.

Jailen

We can try them together bro we gotta put in an order or something.

Victor

Nah, definitely gotta put in an order. We gonna find a spot bro.

Arman

Anyways, Jailen, appreciate you taking the time out of your day to talk to us. 

Jailen

Thank you, thank you for having me bro, thank you.

Arman

Good luck on the rest of the season.

Jailen 

Thank you bro.

Outro 

Victor

That will conclude this episode of the Chomp pod and we’ll be back and make sure to follow us on X at The Chomp pod and Golden Gate Xpress at GGX News.



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About the Contributors
Arman Archouniani, Sports Editor
Arman Archouniani (he/him) is the sports editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. He was born and raised in Daly City and enjoys living in the area. As a kid, his dream was to become a professional athlete. Arman loves his local sports teams such as the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco 49ers, and the San Francisco Giants. He was previously the sports editor for The Skyline View at Skyline College. His dream now is to become a sports analyst for a major sports media company.
Victor Harris Jr, Podcast Editor
Victor Harris Jr (he/him) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. Raised in Fairfield, California, he is a transfer student from Solano Community College, majoring in Journalism with a minor in Management. During his free time, you can find him watching sports, bowling, gaming, or working on his sports podcast, More Trophies.

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