Indiana commit Jakai Newton talks junior season, Gabe Cupps, entrepreneurship and more

  • 04/11/2022 10:40 am in

INDIANAPOLIS – IU commit Jakai Newton spoke with Inside the Hall about his junior season, fellow IU commit Gabe Cupps, entrepreneurship and more.

Newton, a combo guard in the class of 2023, announced his commitment to IU in October 2021. Newton is currently a four-star prospect and ranked 62nd in the class, according to the 247Sports Composite. In his junior season playing at New High School (Covington, Georgia), the team lost in the semifinals of the 2022 GHSA 7A State Tournament.

In November 2021,  IU picked up another pledge in the class of 2023 with the commitment of Gabe Cupps, a three-star point guard who’s ranked as the 129th player in the class, according to the 247Sports Composite. Newton and Cupps were both recently in the state of Indiana playing at different AAU events.

Newton didn’t play in the game for The Atlanta Xpress game on Sunday, April 10, due to a knee injury and an ankle injury.

Here are Newton’s responses to Inside the Hall:

On his injured ankle: “Yeah, I tweaked it last game and I was trying to play on it, but it’s just probably better if I rest it and get ready for next week.”

Evaluating his junior high school season: “We didn’t get the end result we wanted, but we definitely had a great season and a lot of learning things happened. Became a better player overall, smarter player. I learned a lot being a student of the game.”

On the biggest thing he learned: “The biggest thing I learned — probably seeing how players are supposed to be on the court and just making better reads on offense and defense.”

On whether he’s more comfortable playing the one versus the two and what he enjoys about it: “Definitely the two. Definitely the two. Score and play defense, rebound and stuff like that, so.”

On how he fits in position-wise at IU: “They told me I was going to play the two and I’m going to score and play defense, so yessir.”

On what he’s looking forward to most going into the summer: “Just keep getting better every day, keep getting in the gym, keep working on my jump shot, my handling and be the best player I can be.”

On meeting Gabe Cupps in-person: “First time — yeah that was the first time, yeah. That was real cool, too, getting to meet him. I’ve been watching him for a while, but just seeing him in-person, he’s really like that. So we’re going to be tough and I can’t wait to play with him.”

On if he watched Indiana game this season: “Oh yeah, definitely, I tuned in to every game I could.”

On his reaction to watching Indiana this season: “I mean it was exciting, knowing that’s where I’m going to play at. You know, it was a great feeling and seeing them guys win, a lot of good players there, so it was real exciting.”

On the biggest thing he’s working on in his game right now: “The biggest thing I’m working on — jump shot. Extending my range. Pick and roll, too — working on pick and roll, too. And just try to work on the little things.”

On if he has any favorite classes in school: “School — I love science, but it’s turning into math, so it’s kinda, you know, and I hate math so, but school is school.”

On what he’s planning on majoring in at IU: “I’m not sure, but I want to be an entrepreneur and I love real estate and doing stocks so.”

On how that’s going: “It’s going great, actually. I probably went to college to get into the real estate but as far as right now doing stocks and reselling — it’s going good.”

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