GREENBELT – After hitting consecutive game-winners in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in January and averaging 17.5 points in two games for the Millersville University Men’s basketball team in February, former Eleanor Roosevelt High School star Jaden Faulkner was named Freshman of the Week for the third time on Feb. 4.
However, the former Raiders star attempts to remain humble on his successful run, remembering how he got to this moment of success by remembering his past.
“Making rookie of the week for the second time is because of my teammates,” said Faulkner in January. “I think that I’m the best player in the PSAC but I credit it all to my teammates, coaches at Millersville and Coach (Brendan) O’Connell at Roosevelt for making me the player I am today.”
Coming to Millersville from Eleanor Roosevelt, Faulkner said there wasn’t much of a transition because the coaching staff expected him to play the same role he played at Roosevelt, being a distributor that gets other players involved and become an overall leader of the team
In his freshman season, Faulkner leads Marauders to fourth place and clinching a PSAC Tournament berth. He has averaged 13.9 points per game with 4.9 rebounds. At one point this season, Faulkner averaged over 20 points per game but recently passed through those numbers with his 35-point performance in a win over Kutztown on Feb. 21.
Magruder Head Coach Casey Stitzel said Faulkner doesn’t play like a freshman. In fact, when the former Roosevelt star hit the game-winning shot against Bloomsburg on Jan. 16, Stitzel admitted that the player he wanted taking that shot was Faulkner.
“He made a great play,” said Stitzel. “It was a big-time play from a big-time player.”
“My teammates just believe in me to make the right play when I have the ball,” said Faulkner. “They just give me the confidence to do what I do best, and that’s make plays.”
Faulkner and Millersville will play away at Lock Haven on Feb. 23 before closing their regular season at home against East Stroudsburg.
The college success Faulkner is experiencing is not shocking to Raiders Head Coach Brendan O’Connell. According to O’Connell, if Faulkner sticks with basketball in college, “the sky would be the limit for this kid.”
At Roosevelt, Faulkner didn’t really have a ton of time to devote his skill to one sport with him playing basketball and football. Now, as he dedicates 100 percent of the time with Millersville basketball, he will only get better on every aspect of his game, O’Connell said.
“Coach O’Connell pushed me to be a great leader,” said Faulkner. “And he put me through a lot of adversity so it will be easier in the game; I just love being coached by him.”