Alumni in the News

Jon R. Brenchley – B.A., Accounting, 1998

Cache Valley Daily
A year ago, 14-year-old Jaxon Brenchley was out jumping on the trampoline with his treasured basketball. Seeing a basketball hoop, which he estimated to be about 80 feet from where he was standing, he asked his family, “What will you give me if I can make this shot?” His grandpa responded, “I'll give you $50.” The first five tries failed, but on his sixth try (with his mother recording the attempts on her camera), Jaxon made it, and his grandpa paid up. Some may say that the shot was a fluke, especially since he was given six chances, but what basketball coaches, fellow players and scouts have been able to see is that this kid is talented and he is only getting better. Jaxon – along with the video now posted on YouTube - has proved to not only the valley and the state of Utah, but also to the nation just how good he really is. The son of Jon and Tonya Brenchley, Jaxon is one of 25 guards across the country invited to the Chris Paul Elite Guard basketball camp. This camp is for the top point guards across the country and will be held in Chris Paul's hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Jaxon will not only have the opportunity to work alongside other great guards, but he will be taught detailed basketball skills, meet Chris Paul and other NBA stars and will get to wear all of Chris Paul's gear, from shoes, to shorts, shirt and even a bag. The camp invitees will get to tour Duke, Wake Forest, and Jaxon's favorite college, North Carolina. Jaxon said he is very excited, but when his father broke the news to him about the opportunity over the phone, Jaxon played it cool. He was at a Utah Valley University basketball camp and while at the hotel, Jon called him. It was loud where Jaxon had answered the phone, so Jon asked him to go somewhere quiet because he had some exciting news to tell his son. Jaxon was informed about the invite and that he would be receiving an email letter from the camp itself inviting him out to North Carolina August 9-11. Jaxon simply responded, “OK, thanks dad. Goodbye.” No jumping up and down, no screaming. Jaxon doesn't even have a Facebook or Twitter account to post the news on. He kept the announcement low key, and beside the guys who were at the camp with Jaxon, only his family knew of the exciting opportunity. “I'm a little nervous, but excited at the same time”, he says. His favorite NBA player is Lebron James because he said he feels that his own style of play is most similar to James. “My 3 point shot is my weakness, but I can drive and get to the hoop,” Jaxon says. Amongst the NBA's all-time greats, Jaxon says he would put James behind Michael Jordan. He also has Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, John Stockton, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain on that list but in no particular order. What do all these greats and Jaxon have in common? They are cool, calm and collected when the game gets tight, crowd gets loud, and the spotlight becomes brighter. Jaxon said that being composed in those moments is one of his greatest attributes and that he doesn’t get nervous, exhibited by the number of championships and individual awards he has received. The 6-foot-2-inch, 158 pound guard is a member of a statewide team called the X-Factor, which is ranked 8th in the country by Indihoops.com. The squad is currently 35-3 and just won the Las Vegas Grand Opening championship, throttling 12th-ranked MVP Flight Elite by 32 points. But for Jaxon, his favorite team title was the X-factor Invitational where he and his teammates defeated three teams ranked in the West Coast Elite top 25. Jaxon also participates in the Youngblood League where some of the best teams and players in Utah compete. In his 7th grade year, Jaxon averaged 22 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and five steals, while shooting 69 percent from the free throw line and helping his team to a 22-12 record. As a member of the Mountain Crest Mustangs, he notched a career-high 44 points against valley rival Sky View. “I am a very competitive person,” Jaxon says. “I'm competitive in basketball, and when I play XBOX with my friends and family.” To go along with his competitive nature, Jaxon understands that there is always room for improvement. After each of his games, his father will ask him to rate his play on a 1-10 scale, not based on his game stats, but on his effort during the time he played. Jaxon said that he averages between an 8 and 9. With countless eyes watching, having every move be evaluated by coaches, the invitations to camps and the added exposure from social media, it may seem like a lot of pressure for a 15-year-old. But Tonya said she doesn’t feel it should have to be that way for Jaxon at his age, and that as parents they don't want him to feel such pressure in his desire to be a successful player. “We want him to have fun,” she says. “That is what this is all about, is having fun playing basketball. There should be no pressure on him at 15 years old.” Off the court, Jaxon maintains a strong level of humility, choosing to hang out with his family over friends, where he is the oldest of six children. Family time often consists of a competitive game of one-on-one with his 12-year-old brother Landon, or teasing and wrestling around with the others, all under the watchful eye of his favorite coach – his father.