Jalen Hood-Schifino, IU basketball’s latest commit, lives by a easy acronym, which additionally occurs to be the final 4 letters of his final identify: F.I.N.O. — failure isn’t any possibility.
It’s a big a part of how Jalen has gotten to the place he’s at the moment. It led him to turn into a top-25 participant within the 2022 class. It led him to Montverde Academy, a prestigious basketball faculty in Florida. It led him to earn greater than 20 scholarship presents. It led him to Tuesday, the place he introduced his dedication to be a Hoosier in a Kobe Bryant jersey.
Jalen made the choice as a result of he seems like Mike Woodson, a former NBA coach, might help him attain his skilled aspirations. He additionally has a robust relationship with Kenya Hunter, who, because it seems, recruited Jalen’s uncle when he was in highschool twenty years in the past. Indiana’s enjoying model, which largely mirrors one of many NBA, was additionally an alluring facet.
Plus, as Jalen put in his put up dedication interview with CBS, there’s this: “Bringing the Indiana program again on observe for the followers.”
However to actually perceive what kind of participant Indiana might be getting, you must perceive the four-letter acronym and the mom that instilled it in him. The slogan was formally created when Jalen was a freshman and his mom, Angel Schifino, needed one thing to signify the household’s mindset.
However because it seems, there’s a bigger story behind it. And it’s one price telling.
For so long as Angel can keep in mind, she lived by the “failure isn’t any possibility mentality,” even earlier than it was an official acronym. It was evident again when she was a child, the place Angel was steadily on the transfer as a result of her father was within the army. She was born in Germany and, after a number of strikes, her dwelling ultimately turned Pittsburgh.
Basketball was Angel’s dream and he or she earned a scholarship to play at Lock Haven College in Pennsylvania. She performed half a season, however issues, for one motive or one other, didn’t work out. She left faculty and went again to Pittsburgh. Across the identical time, at age 19, she and her highschool sweetheart bought pregnant with Jalen.
After Jalen was born, Angel went again to high school, this time at Carlow College, the place she did all that she might to offer for Jalen. She was a full-time scholar. She labored part-time on the mall. Jalen’s father Glennard dropped out of faculty to usher in extra money.
There have been occasions that they’d hassle paying payments. They obtained public help funds. Angel didn’t have a automobile so she took public transit. Typically, if her mother and father couldn’t babysit, Jalen would accompany her to class. All of the whereas, she needed to make sure Jalen was in a superb faculty district. In 2008, she graduated with a Bachelor’s diploma in Communications.
“I all the time had that powerful – failure isn’t any possibility – mentality,” Angel mentioned.
Angel bought a job at UPMC in Pittsburgh, however determined that she didn’t need to be caught on the company ladder. She left for Charlotte, North Carolina, the place she stayed with one in all her finest pals from highschool. Jalen stayed along with his father whereas Angel got here up and down the East Coast to go to. For 4 months, she labored at a furnishings retailer to avoid wasting sufficient cash to purchase her personal place. Ultimately, she did and Jalen moved down.
Angel’s singular objective was to offer for her youngsters.
“To maintain pushing,” Angel mentioned. “To be the perfect model of your self. On the finish of the day, the perfect challenge we are able to work on is ourselves.”
The mentality isn’t nearly pushing by way of adversity, but in addition how you reside, the way you deal with others. Angel instilled this knowledge into Jalen and, ultimately, his youthful sister.
These traits are obvious in Jalen, who Angel describes as “completely different” and an “outdated soul.” When Jalen wakes up each morning, he prays and makes his mattress. He likes to maintain every part neat and “organized.” He asks Angel if she wants assist round the home. One time, one in all Jalen’s AAU teammates was down, so he messaged him “your time is coming, hold working.” Through the recruiting course of, he documented the entire execs and cons of every faculty.
The summer season going into his freshman 12 months of highschool, Jalen attended a CP3 basketball camp. On the best way to the occasion, he watched gadgets fly away from bed of a person’s pickup truck. It was largely junk, a bunch of aluminum. However Jalen insisted on stopping to assist. So Angel pulled the automobile over. They helped the person arrange his belongings.
One other time, Jalen and Angel had been at a pink mild once they noticed a lady standing on the aspect of the street. Her legs and toes had been swollen. Jalen requested Angel to attend. He went into the trunk and bought out his new pair of Kobe’s. He then handed them to the lady. She cried.
Jalen carried that very same stage of maturity on the court docket. He doesn’t wish to social gathering. He’d quite work out 3 times a day, to which Angel has to remind him to relaxation. Throughout Peach Jam this summer season, Jalen caught COVID-19. He was mentally and bodily drained. He misplaced 13 kilos. However he wasn’t trying ahead to consuming once more, as an alternative, he was asking his mother to get a COVID-19 check, so he might get again on the court docket. He was already scheduling exercises along with his coach.
In June, Jalen and Angel visited Bloomington. They liked the campus. They liked the teachers. As for the workers, “we simply hit it off,” Angel mentioned. “It felt actually good”
In his dedication video, Jalen mentioned that he needs to “give his sister the world.” There have additionally been occasions the place he pulls Angel apart and says “I need to pay you again for the sacrifices.” It’s all part of his mindset, which is why he wore the Bryant jersey and embraces an analogous “Mamba Mentality.”
“He deserves every part that he’s getting,” Angel mentioned.
And now, Angel is requested about one thing else, an angle of considering she might not have considered earlier than. How a lot of “F.I.N.O.” might relate to the power they bought from Indiana?
“Indiana basketball shouldn’t be the place it was, however we’re prepared to show this program round and produce that good kind of power again,” Angel mentioned. “I feel it could all tie in collectively.”
Typically, it takes some time to get the place you’re speculated to be. Angel went from Germany to Pittsburgh to Charlotte. Jalen was initially dedicated to Pittsburgh earlier than selecting Indiana. However possibly that’s what makes all of it so rewarding. Lastly ending up the place you’re speculated to be.
Filed to: Jalen Hood-Schifino