Freshman phenom thrives in college atmosphere
It was a humbling experience for freshman guard Jasmyne Harris when she realized she would be starting for the first time in her collegiate career against the Memphis Tigers.
Less than 20 minutes before the game, head coach Ronald Hughey announced that Harris would start. For her first season in college, Harris worked as hard as she could to prove herself. Finally, it had paid off.
“It’s time,” Hughey said. “She’s proved herself. She’s proved herself off the bench. She’s ready when her name is called. She has grown and it was time.”
Harris went on to lead the Cougars with 19 points and helped the team come within inches of victory in their 66-65 loss.
From the bench earlier in the season, Harris has made her presence known. She claimed two consecutive American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week awards in early December. In the four games during those two weeks, she averaged 12.25 points and 5.5 rebounds.
While she’s excited about her own momentum, Harris says she’s not concerned with whether she’ll start more often throughout the season. For her, to start is more of a blessing than a right.
“Honestly, I don’t really care about (starting),” she said. “I just want to win. So whatever they have to do for us to win, that’s all that matters.”
On her journey from the bench to the court, she has spent an endless amount of time practicing and studying film. Harris also attributes her success to self-motivation, her coaching staff and her teammates.
Freshman guard Angela Harris, who was named FOW a week before Jasmyne, has known her since the seventh grade. Jasmyne’s intensity and commitment to the game has allowed her electric performance to ignite her teammates.
“She has a great passion for the game,” Harris said. “She’s very athletic and very energetic on defense. So I think that that helps not just me, but it helps the whole squad.”
Beyond getting a few more wins this season, Jasmyne Harris has tremendous goals of her own.
“I’m not sure yet if I just want to go overseas or go to the WNBA, but either would be nice,” she said. “I do know that once I’m retired I do want to coach and teach special education.”
Harris has proved herself to be a valuable asset for the Cougars in her first year at the University. The future of the women’s basketball team is going to center around her excellent performance.
Hughey believes that Harris is fearless. No matter what position she plays, he knows that she’s going to be the best that she can be.
“She wants to be a star,” Hughey said. “And her work right now, the things she’s demonstrating, she’s on her way to being exactly who she wants to be in this game.”