Just a few years after turning out two future NFL players who were brothers, an El Paso high school is gaining attention from college basketball scouts looking at another set of standout siblings.
Burges High School basketball players Jawaun and Tristen Newton are the talk of the town and also with college coaches as they are hot prospects for Division I teams.
When the Newtons started playing for the Mustangs together, they finished 86-11 in their career – a whopping 90 percent winning percentage – and have won several district titles and have reached back-to-back regional tournaments.
Jawaun, who is 6’3″ is a senior and Tristen, who is one year younger, is a 6’4″ junior. The brothers began playing together on the varsity squad in 2015.
Burges was known as a football school prior to the Newton brothers’ arrival.
“Everyone always talks about basketball season now, even when it’s over. Everybody can’t wait for it to start up again. Burges has really changed into a basketball school,” Jawaun Newton said.
The Newtons follow their cousins Aaron and Alvin Jones who were football powerhouses. Aaron now plays for the Green Bay Packers and brother Alvin is working his way onto an NFL team.
Since they were three and four years old, the Newton brothers have been in love with basketball.
“He leads me in the right direction. He’s a great role model,” Tristen Newton said. “My brother is the most important person to me. He’s everywhere. He tells me what’s right and what’s wrong. He always lets me know that school comes first.”
Jawuan Newton said: “I push Tristen every day just because I want to make him better. I really want him to succeed in whatever he does. If he’s better than me, he’s better than me. I just want him to do good in life.”
This is Jawaun Newton’s last season and possibly the final year they play together. Neither knows what to expect when they have to go their separate ways next year.
“I’ve played my whole life with him, so him not being there is going to be crazy. I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Jawaun Newton said.
Jackson State University has offered both brothers scholarships to play on its team.
Jawaun Newton has been rated a two-star player by verbalcommits.com. A rating of five stars is the highest ranking. He has an offer to play for West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas.
The brothers said they cherish the memories of playing together and hope to play together again.
They continue to search for a college program that will take them both. During a recent practice, Southern Methodist University scouts watched them practice.
Wisconsin is soon expected to make a visit to El Paso to scout the Newtons, Burges head coach Paul Gutierrez said.
The reason colleges want the brothers to play for them is because of their combination of skills and leadership.
Jawaun Newton is the reigning El Paso Times MVP, due to a junior season where he averaged 25 points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game, and 3.1 assists per game. He has followed his spectacular junior outing with an even more impressive senior season, averaging 29 points per contest, 7.1 rebounds per game and three assists per game.
“Jawaun has just been working hard at his game since his freshman year. Every year, he adds a new element,” Gutierrez said.
Tristen Newton was an All-City First-Team selection last year, thanks to 22.6 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game and 4.5 assists per game. This year, he’s improved in every category, putting up 29 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game and 5.3 assists per match.
“Tristen has grown as a teammate, helping his teammates get better, putting them in the right positions to succeed and improving defensively. Watching Tristen become more vocal with his teammates to make his team better has been a pleasure to see this year,” Gutirrez said.
The Newtons know each other’s game so well that they have helped each other grow into the players they are now, they said. Despite being older, Jawaun Newton said he has learned from his younger brother. Tristen Newton has improved all aspects of his game, including his three-point shots.
Still, Jawaun Newton is constantly encouraging his little brother to work on his defensive game.
“After games, we’re at home and he is always telling me I don’t play defense. Him telling me that really makes me want to work harder on defense,” Tristen Newton said.
The Mustangs ended the season at 31-4, losing to Randall High School of Amarillo in the second round of state playoffs.