YOUNGSTOWN OH- Ursuline head coach Keith Gunther is one of the area’s biggest legends on the sidelines. One of the first things that comes to mind when you think of a coach Gunther team is their defense. He’s not shy about the fact that he is a defensive minded coach. No matter how much offensive talent the Irish end up having on offense, they always seem to be one of the best defensive teams in the area. So it should not surprise anyone that they hold one of the best defenders in the area. At 6’7 Ursuline’s Jaden Payne is what you’d call a problem.  He is the great Irish walk that stops just about anyone from getting to the rim. Because Payne is under such a great coach that focuses on defense, he has been driven to master his craft. Watching Jaden play defense is nothing less than satisfying to any of the pure basketball fans out there.  He also has done all of it against a top notch schedule that Ursuline continues to put together.

We at YSN want to congratulate Jaden and his teammates on a fantastic season. It is our honor to announce that Jaden is the recipient of the 2023 Defensive Player of the Year Award!