UNCW Head Coach C.B. McGrath has announced the signing of shooting guard Jaylen Sims of Charlotte and point guard Kai Toews of Kashiwa, Japan, to National Letters of Intent during the fall signing period for the 2018-19 basketball season.
McGrath, who enters his first season at UNCW after 14 years as an assistant coach with defending national champion North Carolina, says the pair will add talent and depth to the Seahawk roster.
Sims, a 6-6, 200-pound wing is completing his prep career at United Faith Christian Academy. He averaged 17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 15 games last year, shooting 61 percent from the floor.
“Jaylen is a terrific kid, and I know he will work hard to become a great player,” said McGrath. “He has all the tools to be a successful wing in our system. His length and skill set make him a threat to shoot it from deep, get to his midrange pull-up, or finish at the rim. He will be dangerous running the floor to make plays in transition and attacking the offensive glass. It will be fun helping him maximize all of his gifts over the next four years.
Sims enters his final season at United Faith Christian and Head Coach Josh Coley said the talented shooter has been a pleasure to coach.
“Jaylen is a tremendous young man off the floor,” said Coley. “He is a great student and leader on campus. Academically, he is among the top in his class. On the floor, he is a joy to coach and have in our program.
“He is a tireless worker and has a true passion and love for the game of basketball. Jaylen is just scratching the surface of his potential and his best basketball is certainly in front of him. I am honored and blessed to have this young man in our basketball program, as he is a direct reflection of what a true student athlete should be. I wish him nothing but the best at UNCW and know UNCW will benefit from the amazing young man that he has become.”
Sims competes in AAU hoops for Team Charlotte and Coach Jeff McInnis.
“Jaylen is one of the best examples of why I am passionate about developing youth basketball players,” said McInnis. “He started at the bottom in our program three years ago. He wasn't well known, but I saw his potential and wanted to help him. I got to know him and found him to be a respectful and humble person. I told him to just trust the process and he will get to the next level.
“He put in the work and has developed into a Division I basketball player. Through it all, he has remained respectful and humble. I am excited about his future at UNCW. He has just begun to tap into his potential and his best days are ahead of him.”
The 6-2, 185-pound Toews, meanwhile, began learning the game of basketball in Japan with his father, B.T., and has played the last two years for Coach John Carroll at Northfield Mount Herman in Northfield, Mass.
“Kai is an outstanding student athlete,” said McGrath. “Kai is the perfect true point guard for our system; he sees and thinks the game at the highest level. We love how he makes his teammates better. He is the kind of point guard that everyone wants on their team. He’s always focused on putting his teammates in position to be successful, but he can also score in a variety of ways. We are excited to have Kai running the break for the next four years.”
Toews has spent the last two years as a member of the 16U and 18U Japanese National Teams. He also plays for AAU club New England Playaz.