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Plymouth Whitemarsh guard Jaden Colzie ready to make more memories at Jefferson

03/29/2024, 5:00pm EDT
By Owen McCue

By Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)

As Jaden Colzie toured Jefferson University on Tuesday afternoon with Rams head coach Jimmy Reilly, they eventually made their way to Herb Magee Arena.

The Plymouth Whitemarsh senior wasn’t familiar with the rest of the East Falls campus. When he stepped in the gym though, memories started flooding back.

In his head, he replayed the deep threes and nasty crossover in big games against Archbishop Ryan, Gwynn Park, Trenton Catholic and more over the last several summers.

“That’s where I thrive,” Colzie said on a phone call Friday. “I told coach when I was there, this is probably my best gym that I’ve played at.”

Plymouth Whitemarsh senior Jaden Colzie announced his commitment to Jefferson on Friday. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)

Colzie will play the next four years in a home venue he’s mighty comfortable in. The 6-foot-1 guard announced his commitment to Reilly and Jefferson on Friday, just three days after he received an offer on his visit.

While he knew the Rams’ basketball facility would feel like home, the rest of the campus — just about a 20-minute drive away from his actual home — proved to be a fit as well.

“When you actually see the campus and you see all these new buildings, it’s really nice,” Colzie said. “I think I’ll thrive as a student and as a basketball player. … After that visit, me and my parents were already invested in the program, and I feel like it was just a great fit.”

Colzie was a four-year starter at PW, joining the 1,000-point club this winter. He finished with 1,368 points in his career, which doesn’t include any of the 30-point outings he put up at Jefferson during Philly Live. 

He was a four-time All-Suburban One League selection during his career, earning first team honors twice. This past season, Colzie averaged 17.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.5 apg and 1.6 spg and knocked down 64 3-point shots.

“They love my shot making ability, the way I control the pace, be a point guard,” Colzie said. “The head coach said I play a lot like (former PW standout and assistant coach) Ronald Moore, controlling the game and playing the point guard role and just my ability to create. That’s what I’m trying to get better and better on. For the next level, I feel like that will be really beneficial for the team.”

Colzie helped the Colonials reach the state playoffs in each of the last three seasons and was a standout on the District 1 championship team in 2022-23. 

Reilly, who just finished his second season after 15 years as an assistant under Magee, led the Rams to a CACC runner-up finish in his first year before guiding Jefferson to its first league title since 2018-19 this past year.

“Coming off that conference championship, it really means that it’s a winning program,” Colzie said. “I’ve always heard great things about Jefferson. It’s a great school for basketball, even better for academics. Being that hometown kid, I feel like I’ll just thrive there academics wise and basketball wise. I just know it’s a winning culture over there. Being at PW and having a winning culture, it’s good to go from high school to college still having that winning culture.”

Colzie heard from a few Division I programs like Samford and Le Moyne late in the recruiting process. Division II programs West Chester, Kutztown and Bloomsburg are a few of the others who showed interest. 

Jefferson didn’t get in the mix until the past week or two, but Colzie and the Rams became a quick fit. He’ll try to help replace the losses of CACC Player of the Year Erik Timko (19.6 ppg) and Hakim Byrd (12.1 ppg), who recently entered the transfer portal.

“It means the world,” Colzie said. “This recruitment process isn’t for the weak. It’s a stressful process, and I know for a lot of hoopers it’s stressful as anything. You never know what coaches are really thinking, getting this commitment off my chest and now being able to go through my senior year not thinking about where I have to go, it feels amazing. It goes back to all the work that I put in.”

Colzie knows the work isn’t done. His focus this offseason will be trying to learn how to play off the ball. Since he’s so close, it wouldn't be surprising if he gets to head down and play pickup with his new teammates before arriving on campus.

He’ll take any chance he can to play at Herb Magee Arena.

“A lot of big games that I’ve played there,” Colzie said. “I’m really comfortable with that gym. That’s why I was really happy. I was like, “Hmm. I feel like I’ll really do my best here.’ There’s a lot of memories in that gym for the past four years.”

And hopefully many more to come.

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