Home Sports Jaedin Reyna’s ‘roller coaster’ stops at Bishop Noll. The former St. Rita star brings an Illinois offer and playmaking.

Jaedin Reyna’s ‘roller coaster’ stops at Bishop Noll. The former St. Rita star brings an Illinois offer and playmaking.

by staff

After Jaedin Reyna stepped away from one of the most talented teams in Illinois late last season, St. Rita’s loss soon became Bishop Noll’s gain.

Reyna, a Hammond resident who was one of three sophomore starters for St. Rita, said it was difficult to leave for home schooling in February. But since then he has received an offer from Illinois and found a new home at Noll.

Advertisement

“It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster,” Reyna said of 2022. “I had to leave St. Rita, unfortunately, but I picked (the Illinois offer) up playing AAU ball, and here I am at Noll now. I’m definitely happy.”

The Warriors (3-1) are happy to have him. Reyna, a 6-foot point guard, is averaging 14.3 points while running the offense.

Advertisement

“We’ve had playmakers before,” junior guard Angel Alvarez said. “But with one of our leading scorers (Ahmad Artis) graduating, it’s great to have Jaedin coming here and leading with his passes and his scoring.”

Reyna was more successful with the former during Noll’s 65-48 nonconference win at home against Griffith on Wednesday. He scored seven points on 2-of-10 shooting. But he nonetheless demonstrated key skills that set him apart.

Alvarez had the hot hand, scoring 15 of his 20 points in the second quarter after rolling his right ankle and spending time on the bench in the first, and Reyna played a part in that. He had the assists on three of Alvarez’s 3-pointers in the second quarter, and he also had an impressive feed inside to freshman forward Metrell Harbin in the third.

Noll coach John Dodson III understands what Reyna brings to the team. Dodson was the point guard for the Warriors when they finished second in Class 2A in 2011 and later played in the 2016 Division III national championship game with Benedictine in Lisle, Illinois.

“The sign of a great point guard is what he did (Wednesday),” Dodson said. “He’s one of the best point guards I’ve seen coming through the Noll system.

“You have to recognize what’s going on. He recognized that he was struggling a bit, but he could see that a guy like Angel was shooting well, and he decided to get everybody involved. That is going to pay dividends. That’s why he has those offers that he has.”

Reyna, who had an offer from Northern Illinois before he started high school, listed IUPUI, Illinois-Chicago and Central Connecticut State as other programs that have extended offers.

Bishop Noll’s Jaedin Reyna, left, looks to get around Griffith’s Alex Ladendorf during a game in Hammond on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
Post Tribune

Post Tribune

Twice-weekly

News updates from Northwest Indiana delivered every Monday and Wednesday

Reyna got to St. Rita in 2020 with Morez Johnson, James Brown and Josh Pickett, who have become three of the top college prospects in the junior class in Illinois. Johnson committed to play at Illinois last year. Pickett transferred to West Aurora after his freshman year.

Advertisement

“The plan was that all four of us would be there for four years,” Reyna said. “But things change, you know? I still follow them a little bit. I’m still friends with them.”

After Reyna left St. Rita, he went looking for a new school.

“His family was inquiring about Noll and a few other schools,” Dodson said. “They were looking at Catholic schools. He was originally supposed to come to Noll. They reached out, and my athletic director said there was a kid from St. Rita looking to come over, and they worked it out from there.”

Things are working out for the Warriors so far this season. They’ve had just one winning season since 2015-16 but are showing promise with Reyna aboard.

“The environment here is different,” he said. “Even before I came here, I knew the players and played with them before. It’s just cool being out there with these guys.”

Jeff Vorva is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment