Jaden McClanahan: UVU MBB’s veteran point guard 

Reading Time: 2 minutes Jaden McClanahan sat down with the UVU Review to talk about his time at UVU and why he decided to stay through two coaching changes.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Utah Valley Men’s Basketball went through one of its program rebuilds after head coach Mark Madsen left the program to coach at Cal after the team’s NIT semifinal appearance last season. It left the program with just four players returning to this year’s squad. One of those players is senior guard Jaden McClanahan. 

McClanahan, a twin who was born and raised in Vallejo, California where he grew up with his parents, Thomas and Latsha along with five brothers, has remained at UVU his entire collegiate career, which is rare in the days of name, image, and likeness.  

This also means that McClanahan has been through two head coaches; Mark Pope who left for BYU and Madsen.  

“For as long as I can remember I have always been invested in this game,” McClanahan said. “Growing up, my twin brother and I played outside for hours and hours until our dad had to stop us from playing.” 

McClanahan and his twin brother Jovon, who is currently playing basketball at the University of Hawaii, have grown very close and play a huge part in each other’s successes on and off the court. 

“If we played one-on-one 1,000 times the score would be tied or somebody would be up one,” Jaden said. “We talk to each other every day about how we can improve our game but mostly about how we can grow as humans in general.” 

After playing together throughout their entire childhood, Jaden excelled in high school where he averaged 12.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.3 steals per game.  

By the end of his senior year, he had earned league MVP honors and was named co-MVP of his team, while helping lead them to four straight titles. 

Despite dealing with a couple of injuries throughout his time here, coming to play for Utah Valley has impacted his life in a big way. 

“I love it here in Utah and I actually enjoy being cold,” McClanahan said. “I have met some amazing people out here and I’ve wanted to stay here because of the relationships I have built with numerous people.” 

Now, in his fourth year as a Wolverine, he has proven to be a key leader and facilitator for his team, averaging a career-high 26 minutes per game along with 7.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists.  

“Coach Phillips and my teammates have put a lot of trust in me this year,” McClanahan explained. “Each game I know that my teammates rely on me to succeed which has helped us win as a team and be where we are today.” 

With the regular season nearing the end, the Wolverines have been on a tear recently winning their fifth straight game as of March 1, and have climbed their way up to the fifth seed in the WAC. 

Over the last five games, McClanahan not only has been a key defender on the court but has averaged nearly five assists per game, which has proven to be a crucial part of winning games this year.  

With just two regular-season games left, McClanahan and the Wolverines look to end their year with a bang as they hosted UT Arlington on Saturday, March 2 which was Senior Night for McClanahan. 

Utah Valley controls their own destiny as they could solidify their spot as a four seed in the WAC standings heading into tournament play in March. 

The tournament will tip off on March 13 in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena and ends Saturday, March 16. All games can be streamed on ESPN+