Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Welcome to Cardinal Arena -- Jazmine Jones...WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
TALENTED WING HAS ATHLETICISM, PERSONALITY
( This is the fourth in a series of article about the new arrivals to the University of Louisville women's basketball program. We feature Jazmine Jones today.)
About two years ago, the home of Felicia and Reginald Jones was as busy as the Watterson Expressway at 8 a.m. Monday morning. Coaches were dropping by daily or calling to reach out to one of their children...a talented young wing by the name of Jazmine.
The Joneses had had gone through the recruiting process before with their other children...who had gone on to play college football and hoops...but never with this amount of magnitude and intensity.
Fast forward a year. Jones is getting ready to announce her decision. I do something I rarely so and decide to make a phone call to the Jones household to see if I can do an interview with her. I follow the channels of etiquette and first talk to "mom"...asking permission to interview her. It is granted, we set up a time and a day or so later...we speak via phone.
What ensued was a fun-filled, slightly off-topic at times few minutes on the phone where we talk about her favorite food (ribs), what she needs to improve on (dribbling and passing) her favorite car... the Audi A8, favorite ice cream...cookies and creme and favorite athlete (Michael Jordan). A couple of days later, she announces Louisville. I couldn't specifically ask her where she was going during the interview...but after I hung up the phone...still chuckling...I felt it had to be the Cards.
Eventually it came down to four...hometown FSU, Ohio State and Miami. So, it's only fitting that we write about Jazmine this week (it was also her turn in the alphabet as I do these) She played her high school ball in Talhassee and it is FSU that comes to town this week to take on the Cards in football on Saturday. She may be torn in who to root for....understandable, given the circumstances...but you can bet she'll be vocal in her support.
Think of a young Angel McCoughtry when you envision her game. She is all over the court. A threat to score from about anywhere on the court. Disruptive on defense. Maybe the fastest player on the floor. Incredible leaping ability. One that can get her teammates involved in the action. She actually played out-of-position her senior year...at point guard...because it was where she was needed. They won the 2A Title in Florida. She was the 2A Player of the Year.
All traits and skills that will fit in nicely with this 2016-17 Louisville basketball squad. Jones will fit in nicely with this group. She has the type of personality where she would fit in almost anywhere. She has the on-court skills that coaches dream of seeing on their court. And, she'll be adding them to a squad that already has significant skills and talent.
She is community minded as well...volunteering at a nursing home during her high school years and organizing support for a teammate sidelined with an aneurysm. You may not see her flying over the KFC YUM! Center in a cape with super-hero powers (and Superman is her favorite action hero)...but if Jeff Walz was asked to pick a player to attempt that...she wouldn't be a bad choice.
FUN FACTS ABOUT JAZMINE
1) IDENTITY CRISIS? There is another Jazmine Jones associated with women's college basketball...a 6'2" forward that will be a junior at Auburn this season.
2) INTRODUCING #23...Jazmine will wear #23 at Louisville...that was Michael Jordan's original number in the NBA and Maya Moore's number. Briahanna Jackson had it last year..but has switched to 00. You may remember that #23 was Shoni's jersey number. Connie Neal also donned #23.
3) KEEP HER AWAY FROM THE RALPH WRIGHT! Despite being from Florida...she admits that she doesn't know how to swim. No training sessions with Arthur Albiero for you, young lady!
4) JUST LIKE SIS. One of her older sisters...GiGi... played hoops at App. State and Jacksonville.
5) BEEN AROUND AWHILE ON THE COURT. She started playing basketball in the third grade and went to the state finals as a player in the seventh grade.