Sixth Man Athlete - Jaz Salon
We are excited to announce our second 6th Man Athlete, Jaz Salon.
We have had a close eye on Jaz’s basketball career closely in the past twelve months and excited to have her on board as our second 6th Man Athlete. Jaz has sent shockwaves across the country, not only in women’s basketball but across the professional and streetball competitions in Australia.
Introduce yourself; Where did you grow up, how old are you, who are you playing ball for at the moment.
HI! My name is Jaz Salon and I was born in the Philippines but moved to Australia when I was 5 so back in 2009 and basically grew up here but went back home a couple times over the years. I am 18 years old and play for Keilor Thunder ever since I was in U12s Top Age. I am now playing NBL1 for Keilor.
Where did your love for the game come from? What are your earliest memories playing ball?
I got the love for the game from my brother and father. I first started with dancing at 6 years old but everything changed when I saw my father and brother play basketball and by the next year I started playing as they were my inspiration and still are my inspirations. My earliest memory would have to be when my brother and I played mixed domestic basketball together, where whenever I got the ball I would always look to pass to him because he carried our team. Definitely would love to play with him like that again.
What shoes are you hooping in at the moment?
I’m always hooping in Kyries and sometimes Kobes or KDs but I’m definitely a big Kyrie fan. Since his style of basketball suits mine I guess it's pretty self explanatory to wear his shoes to hoop in.
If you could compare your game to one player past or present who would you choose?
If I could compare my game to one player it would probably either be Crystal Dangerfield, as she is a undersized PG with the same speed and handles, or Kyrie no doubt about it with his handles too and with a little bit of Michael Jordans mentality.
We hear you’re looking to get a college contract later in the year. Tell us about your exciting plans and where you want to head?
I’m looking to go into college in the middle of this year and hopefully headed to a big D2 college which I won’t name yet but will definitely be exciting to experience college especially in a different country.
Beyond that, where would you like to be in the next 10 years?
In 10 years time I would love to be playing professional basketball. Could be in the States, Europe or back in my hometown, Philippines.
You played a big part in your team Keilor win the Big V Youth Championship last year and also took the Finals MVP home, what did that season mean to you and what are you taking from that season into your NBL1 season this year?
The 2022 BigV season taking home the Championship and Finals MVP that season definitely meant a lot as it was a coming out season to let people know who I am and what I can do, I wanted to put a statement out there for everybody who think height matters, I personally think its always heart over height. It was definitely an emotional rollercoaster but we got there in the end and I could not have done it without my family, team and coaches. It still doesn’t feel real to have taken a championship and MVP trophy home, I guess I just wanted to be out there playing and the trophies were a bonus. I definitely want to continue to grow from that season and bring it to my NBL1 season thats coming up, especially with the big bodies I will be coming up against, I gotta up everything in my game.
Do you have a pregame ritual that you do before every game?
My pregame ritual would have to be listening to music. I need to stay in a neutral mood where I can’t be too chill or too hyped. It also takes away all the thoughts of the game and lets me vibe out and stay mellow.
If you could have dinner with any basketball player, past or present, who would you choose
This one is a hard one but I’m going to have to go with Michael Jordan, I would love to meet heaps of other players but I think the GOAT is the best answer. He changed the game and his mentality towards the game just inspired me, especially when basketball is all a mental game. I would watch his documentary over and over again just to review every little detail there was in it.
What are your goals or bucket list items for 2023 outside of Basketball?
Honestly, spend as much time with friends and family since I’ll be leaving soon, even make some money and save that up for college. Mainly just spending time with my inner circle other than that basketball basically revolves around my whole life.
You had quite the spotlight on you this year at Summer Jam. How did that feel? What was your reaction when you saw that spread in the Summer Jam publication?
I guess having the spotlight didn’t really make me feel any different, I was just there to play the game I love so much. Just there for the experience and be around the community of basketball lovers as well. I knew that there was going to me a spread of me in the Summer Jam publication but I didn’t know they were out yet until someone told me they saw me in a newspaper and I was caught off guard. Shoutout to Summer Jam for sure for letting me be a part of it but I loved it for real it definitely made me happy seeing it.