Last Updated: Tue Jan 18, 2022 - 3:33PM
Norwin grad Jayla Wehner came from an athletic family, as both of her parents were former athletes who later became coaches, while her younger brother is a star quarterback. Jayla has carved out her own path, however, as she enjoyed terrific success as a basketball standout at Norwin, and has continued that success at Marian University Indianapolis. She is under the spotlight for the latest Westmoreland Alum Q&A.
Wehner made the Norwin varsity squad as a freshman in 2016-17, as the Knights went 17-6 overall, including 8-2 in section play. From there, Norwin defeated Butler Area in the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs, but fell to Mount Lebanon in the quarterfinals to conclude the season.
The following season, Wehner helped the Knights go 12-10, including 8-2 once again in the section. In postseason play, Norwin ousted Pine-Richland, but again fell to Mount Lebanon in the quarterfinals. For her play individually, Wehner was recognized as a First-Team All-Section performer.
As a junior, Wehner propelled the Knights to a mark of 23-3, including 13-1 in the section slate. From there, Norwin defeated Mount Lebanon, but then fell to North Allegheny in the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals. However, Norwin qualified for the state playoffs, and defeated Altoona Area and Northampton Area before falling to Peters Township in the PIAA quarterfinals. Wehner again garnered First-Team All-Section accolades.
As a senior in 2019-20, Wehner helped Norwin achieve a record of 18-5, including 13-1 in section play. From there, however, the Knights lost to Upper Saint Clair in the 6A quarterfinals. Wehner was honored as a First-Team All-WPIAL performer, and once again received All-Section distinction.
Following her graduation, Wehner matriculated to Marian University Indianapolis.
The guard made an immediate impact for the Knights, as she played in 31 games, including three starts, in 2020-21. In that action, she contributed 3.8 points per game, while adding 80 assists and 23 steals. Marian achieved a mark of 27-6 overall, including a perfect 16-0 in the Crossroads League. In the conference tournament, the Knights defeated Grace and Mount Vernon Nazarene, but fell to Indiana Wesleyan in the Crossroads League Championship. However, Marian still qualified for the NAIA Tournament, and defeated Grand View in the opening round. The Knights’ season concluded with a loss to Concordia University in the next round.
This season, Wehner has appeared in 17 contests, posting marks of 3.6 points and 1.2 rebounds per game, along with 20 assists and 10 steals. Marian is off to another great start, as the Knights are 16-2, including 8-0 in Crossroads League action.
Jayla took time to answer questions about her decision to attend Marian, the best qualities of her head coach at Norwin, and what rule she’d change in college basketball.
Q: You have played almost exclusively as a reserve during your time at Marian. What have been the biggest adjustments to coming off the bench?
A: I think that when coming off the bench, you have to play your role and take pride in doing whatever that role may be to the best of your ability. You just have to take an opportunity that is given to you and give it your all. It's an adjustment, but I know that I will do whatever it takes for the team to be successful.
Q: What are your best attributes on the court?
A: My defense and speed.
Q: The team has enjoyed success in both of your seasons. What have been the biggest factors in that?
A: The biggest factors are probably the work ethic, talent, and willingness to reach common goals. Both the players and coaches are willing to do whatever it takes to win and be the best team that we could be.
Q: What team and individual goals did you set for this season?
A: The team goal is to win - the regular season, the Crossroads League Tournament, and the NAIA National Tournament, we want to win them all, one step at a time. Individually, my goal is to play my role and do whatever the team needs me to do in order to win.
Q: What led to your decision to attend Marian?
A: The winning culture, coaches, style of play, and the atmosphere felt like home
Q: What is your major, and ideal future profession?
A: Exercise science is my major and I would love to be a physical therapist, whether that be in sports performance or for a college/professional sports team.
Q: What has been your most enjoyable college class?
A: Sport psychology
Q: At Norwin, you played under accomplished head coach Brian Brozeski. What are his best qualities?
A: He's a winner, no doubt. He pushes his players to be their best and has high standards of each individual and teams, both on and off the court.
Q: What was your fondest high-school memory?
A: My fondest high-school memory would have to be when I had the game-winning shot to beat North Allegheny on our home court my junior year.
Q: Who was the best individual player you faced during your time at Norwin?
A: Makenna Marisa (of Peters Township)
Q: If you could change one rule about college basketball, what would it be?
A: I think I would eliminate the charge circle, because as nice as it is when driving to the hoop on offense, it can be annoying to get called for a block when you try to take a charge close to the area.
Q: Do you prefer water, a sports drink, or something else during basketball?
A: I like to just drink water during basketball, but occasionally add a liquid I.V. packet to it.
Q: What is your favorite vacation spot, or a place you've always wanted to go?
A: My favorite vacation spot would probably be Clearwater, Florida, but I have always wanted to go to The Bahamas.
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