Walkertown sophmore making a name for himself on the court

Walkertown sophmore making a name for himself on the court
February 01
09:36 2018

With more than half of the 2017-2018 high school basketball season in the books, a few players in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools have set themselves apart from others in the area. While almost every school in the area has a player they can go to when they need a quick bucket, arguably the best scorer in the area is only a sophomore.

On any given night, Walkertown High School starting point guard Jalen Cone is likely to go for 40 points. Just ask fans from Glenn, Andrews, Atkins, Forbush, Dudley and West Stokes, all watched the sophomore sensation surpass the 40-point mark when their teams faced the Wolfpack.

On two separate occasions, Cone has been a single bucket away from scoring 50 points.

And people are taking notice.

During a recent home game against conference foe Atkins, the gym was packed; many in attendance had no ties to either team but just had to come see Cone in action. While finding his seat in the bleachers before the start of the game, one fan said, “I came to see that Cone boy.”

Others greeted people they knew at the game with, “What number does Cone have?”

Local media outlets and basketball enthusiasts aren’t the only ones taking notice. and, have Cone listed as the third best point guard in the state in his graduating class (2020). And Hampton, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, N.C. State, and Wake Forest have all shown interest in Cone and more are sure to be on the way.

Behind Cone’s 35 points per game, nearly six assists, and four rebounds, the Wolfpack have already matched their win total from last season and looking to make a run at a Western Piedmont 2A Conference regular season title.

After one conversation with Cone, you will see why he is so successful on the court. He has the work ethic of an athlete twice his age, the confidence to back it up, and yet he’s one of the most humble and respectable teenagers you’ll ever meet.

“I know I put in the work. Countless hours in the gym and skipping hanging out with friends and parties just to work out,” Cone said. “I spend most of my time trying to perfect my craft so I feel like I deserve this. I’m just trying to be the best Jalen Cone I can be and start a new trend for kids younger than me to look up to.”

He said, “I know in a matter of seconds the game can be taken away from me, so I just remember to keep my head on straight, and keep working. Really, just keeping God first and living out what He has planned for me.”

While putting on a show twice a week in gyms across the Triad, Cone is putting on a show in the classroom as well. He currently holds a 3.9 grade point average (GPA), and is an active member of Crosby Scholars of Forsyth County.

“I would probably have to say my favorite subject is civics and economics. I was never really into politics, the government and stuff like that, but this year I have Ms. Hahn, and she made it fun and got me interested in the subject.”

Although he hasn’t made a decision on college yet, Cone wants to major in business.

During a brief interview with The Chronicle, Jalen’s parents Harold and Alicia Cone said they were proud of what Jalen is accomplishing on and off the court.  Alicia, who is a teacher, said she handles the books and his father, a certified trainer, handles the training.

Alicia Cone said hard work is key. “All four of our kids know if you don’t have the grades, you’re not on the field or court. I tell them the higher those GPAs and test scores, it opens doors. ”

Harold Cone said, along with a strict workout routine, Jalen learned a lot from his older brothers. He said growing up although he was younger, he always wanted to compete with his older brothers Drew and Madison.

Madison is a freshman at Wisconsin University, where he is a member of the football team, and Drew plays point guard at Guilford Tech Community College in Jamestown. Jalen’s younger sister Joy is the starting point guard for the girl’s varsity team at Walkertown.

“You can tell he was always waiting his turn and then when his turn came, he was excited to be a part, now he’s like ‘It’s my time to shine,’” Harold Cone said. “He’s just trying to make a name for himself; that’s where that energy comes from, I think.”

When talking about his brother’s success, Drew, who was a standout point guard at East Forsyth, said he is proud of his little brother. He said growing up, Jalen was always a fighter.

“He always would fight and that’s what sets him apart from a lot of kids in the state and country. He just has the will to win and to fight.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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