Nederland High star Hayden Hefner finding his shot for Texas A&M

Published 12:18 am Friday, December 29, 2023

COLLEGE STATION — Guard Hayden Hefner put up a team-high 14 shot attempts when the Texas A&M Aggies last took the floor.

It led to a top performance for the senior from Nederland High, who scored a career high 24 points during a 79-52 victory over the Houston Christian Huskies.

Hefner’s night included three of eight makes from three-point range, seven of eight makes from the free throw line and two rebounds.

Hayden Hefner makes a move toward a layout. The senior is carrying 2023 averages of 18 minutes and eight points per game. (12thman.com)

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“I think it was mostly chemistry on the fly,” Hefner said following the game. “We didn’t really practice some of those lineups, and we knew going into the game that we were going to have to work on seeing who can play with who and who’s going to be mature enough to do their job. I think we did a good job of maintaining our composure through the game.”

Sitting at 8-4 on a promising season, Texas A&M returns to action at 6 p.m. Saturday at Reed Arena with a home game against the Prairie View A&M Panthers.

Hefner is scheduled to start his 13th game this season and is carrying 2023 averages of 18 minutes a game and eight points per game on 44 percent shooting. He is also averaging 42 percent shooting from three-point range.

In leading the Aggies in scoring against the Huskies, Hefner eclipsed his previous best of 19 against Texas A&M-Commerce on opening night this season.

Early this season, head coach Buzz Williams said he has seen tremendous growth in Hefner.
“He’s done a really good job of hanging in there his first three years,” Williams said following the season opener. “He’s always in the right place. He’s guarded as an elite level shooter, and that makes the game easier for our other guards. He’s made great strides in what we want him to do on the glass. I thought he played outstanding.”

Hefner went into the season knowing a lot more is going to be asked from him.

“I’m capable of stepping up to the plate for that,” he said. “I know what’s going to be asked of me. I know what to expect day in and day out, and I think that’s the same for everybody. We all know our role, and we’re all able to buy in and really give 110 percent every day.”

Hefner previously told Port Arthur Newsmedia about how appreciative he is of the instruction received under Nederland Bulldogs coach Brian English.

“He taught me what basketball really was,” Hefner said. “He taught me all of the little details and the mental aspect. He taught me how to attack each moment and prepare for each moment. He shed light on what I needed to do on a daily basis from my freshman year. He had an impact on who I became and who I am becoming.”