VANCOUVER, Wash. (KGW) — She scored 50 points in a game this season as a freshman at Union High School. She’s got a 4.0 GPA and nearly 50,000 followers on Instagram.
14-year-old Brooklynn Haywood put the state of Washington on notice with a 50-point performance against LaConner on Jan. 27.
“I was like, no way. There’s no way I scored that much,” Haywood said. “Our team just played really well. It was a good team win. I didn’t know I scored that much. It was crazy.”
Haywood averaged 26 points per game this season.
“She’s got an infectious personality. She’s funny. She always lightens up the mood at practice,” said Union High school girls basketball coach Gary Mills. “Once the ball is tipped, she’s kind of a killer. She’s definitely the most skilled girls basketball player I’ve ever coached.”
Ball is life for Haywood. “I make 500 shots a day,” she said.
She spends countless hours in the gym, training multiple times a day.
“She trains and practices with one goal. It’s not to be a starter or a shooter or something like that. She trains to be a pro,” Mills said. “I think that’s what kind of sets her apart.”
She’s committed to her hoop dreams.
“My parents were like, if this is really what you want to do, you have to kind of treat it like your job,” Haywood said. “If you want to be serious about this then we’ll make the sacrifices for you, but you have to make some too.”
Haywood and her parents made the move from Anchorage, Alaska to Vancouver, Washington to play against more competition and to be closer to her club coach and trainer Matt Conboy.
She grew up around University of Utah star Alissa Pili. She looks up to players like Paige Bueckers and Kobe Bryant.
“They’ve also had to make sacrifices and I kind of relate to that, making the sacrifice to move away from my family to come down here and pursue my dreams of basketball,” Haywood said.
She found a home at Union High School.
“I felt really welcomed when I came here,” Haywood said. “It’s scary coming to a new school and a new state and stuff like that, but I felt really comfortable around the girls here, coaches and just everyone here.”
She’s also one of the most popular kids around. Haywood’s Instagram account is approaching 50,000 followers.
“My dad runs my social media, for me, I don’t really pay attention to that stuff. I just kind of let my dad handle it. Whatever you want to put up there you put up there, I’m staying out of that,” Haywood said. “I don’t pay attention to my followers and stuff. If I’m being honest, I don’t really care about that stuff. I just want to play basketball.”
Colleges have been calling since middle school and she’ll never forget her first scholarship offer.
“My jaw just dropped, like I went silent for like 10 seconds,” Haywood said. “It was crazy.”
She’s not in a rush to make a commitment. Colleges will have to wait. She’s focused on finishing her freshman year of high school and maintaining her 4.0 GPA.
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