Girls Basketball: Jasmine Lumpkin has everything covered for Joliet Catholic
By Tony Baranek email@example.com January 20, 2014 9:32PM
Joliet Catholic's Jasmine Lumpkin (21) drives to the basket against North Lawndale in Chicago Saturday, December, 14, 2013. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 22, 2014 6:22AM
Jasmine Lumpkin is a go-to girl for Joliet Catholic.
That was more than evident Monday, when the 6-foot forward poured in 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lift the 19-0 Angels to a 63-55 victory over Batavia at the Willowbrook McDonald’s Prep Classic.
But when it comes to leadership, the Michigan State-bound senior provides so much more.
On a team that has four sophomores and three freshmen, she’s a comforter. An encourager. An advice-giver.
She’ll give a pat on the back, and if needed, a kick in the butt.
“We have some young players on the team, and I try to be there and lead them by example on and off the court,” she said. “I try to be that one person to keep us going when we’re down, or if we’re winning to help keep up the intensity.”
Lumpkin pretty much does it all on the court, averaging 18.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.3 steals per contest.
The Bolingbrook native played her first two seasons at Montini, leading the Broncos to the Class 3A state title in 2011-12 before transferring to Joliet Catholic before last season and leading the Angels to their best record (24-5) since 1984-85.
“We expect a lot and she gives a lot,” Joliet Catholic coach Ed Schodrof said. “I never question that she’s going to give a lot. I know it’s coming, and I have a lot of trust in her.
“When we played a team from Florida on Saturday (a 50-43 victory) she picked up her third foul really late in the second quarter. I did an offense/defense switch and I put her in for the last play on the offensive side, and she started the third quarter. And she did not pick up a foul the rest of the game.”
Lumpkin started playing basketball in the second grade at the behest, she said, of her father (Jerry Lumpkin), who played at Westinghouse.
Up until eighth grade at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Plainfield, however, it was a toss whether she’d be a cheerleader or play basketball.
“I was actually switching off between the two before I started to get better and realized that basketball was really something I wanted to do with my life,” she said.
“When colleges started to get involved I was like, ‘Wow, I never thought basketball could get me this far.’ So I just started putting a lot of my work into basketball.”
Counseling skills came along with the package. Schodrof said Lumpkin has been instrumental in freshman Jnaya Walker’s quick progression.
“Her and Jnaya have become really close,” Schodrof said. “They tease each other all the time. Jasmine was very hard on her at first, with everything that we did. And at first Jnaya was a little taken aback, but she’s really come to appreciate the fact that Jazzy has taken her under her wing.”
She also keeps room for the other youngsters.
“My primary goal is to get the team fired up in any way I can,” she said. “If I’m not scoring or rebounding, I’m talking to my team. We have a team where everybody can contribute and come off the bench and do something.
“Some of the players may be nervous or check out. I just try to tell them to stay focused. I want to be that type of person they can come to for questions. When I graduate they can still come to me.”