Kean student named youngest founder in the AAU league

By Dominique Vinas

 

It’s every 22 year old’s dream to be established, and to have a set plan after graduation. Some are lucky enough to have it figured out before. Jaleel Taylor, 22 and communication studies major at Kean, is already halfway up the ladder of success. Not only is he a full-time student, he is a professional arena football player for the AllStarInc Panthers in Philadelphia, PA.

That’s not the most impressive part. What makes this student and athlete all the more noteworthy is his most recent accomplishment. He is now a coach of his very own basketball team that he founded as part of the non-profit organization Amateur Athletic Union. The team is called “The Jersey Heat.”

Taylor is enjoying his passion for sports and helping people all at the same time and this is very rewarding for him.

“I started this for the inner city teenagers in high school in New Jersey to help motivate and help them become better men, and help them get into college,” said Taylor. “One way of doing that is through the sport of basketball.”

Part of being a part of an Amateur Athletic Union league is traveling. The reason for this is so that the players’ talents are seen. Taylor, along with the other coaches, teach them building skills that facilitate teamwork.

“This is important to me because teenagers in the inner cities are getting caught up in the wrong things,” said Taylor. “We have more teenagers in the streets than in the classroom.”

Taylor is willing to do whatever it takes to change that. For three years now he’s been running his team and has had the privilege of putting 14 of his players into colleges on athletic and academic scholarships all over the tri-state.

To add on to all of this excitement, Taylor has been offered to do a workout on April 26 with the Philadelphia Eagles Organization, which is something he is looking forward to. He recently was also selected out of 60 college athletes to play in the international scout bowl in front of the NFL scouts, Canadian league scouts, Europe league scouts and arena league scouts.

His aspirations are endless. Taylor is focusing on graduating with and obtaining his bachelor’s degree in communication studies. However, he is trying as hard as he can to speed up that process.

“While being a full time student, traveling to Philly, and coaching my non-profit organization it is a lot of work. I have no time for myself,” Taylor admits. On April 19 he had his first tournament for his Amateur Athletic Union league in Wayne, NJ. They placed third, and they have four more tournaments to go for the season.

Taylor is currently waiting on a phone call from an NFL team on draft day, but if that doesn’t work out he always has his communication degree to fall back on.

“I would love to stay involved with sports, whether that’s being a sports broadcast journalist or coming back home to coach my high school and to continue coaching my non-profit org,” said Taylor.

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