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By no means was the ending of the 2012 season the way Jazmine Spears wanted to go out. Playing for the defending 4A state champion in New Albany, the junior led in every statistical category for the Lady Bulldogs throughout the season.
Plagued by illness in the division tournament, Spears not only missed games there, but was unavailable for the season ending loss to Noxubee County in north half. Now in the summer entering her senior year, Spears is ready to come out and make a statement once more.
“It was very hard, because I wanted to be out there with my team, just trying to see how far we could get,” Spears said of the postseason. “I got sick, and I couldn’t be out there, and that hurt more than anything, just not being out there, trying to help them.”
Spears led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with 27.2 points per game and accounted for 359 total rebounds (15.6 per game) and 2.5 blocks per game.
Stepping up in Spears place during the time she was sick was Alisha Smith, but with her graduating last May, Spears again will be the focal point for the Lady Bulldogs. She is quick to say that this is a team improving with each game they have played throughout summer workouts last month.
“They’re shooting a lot better and getting the ball down the court better than they did last year, so I won’t have to depend on them as much or do that myself,” she said. “They’re getting better day by day, game by game, and I’m excited to see it coming together.”
Another exciting part of this next school year for the Dandy Dozen selection is the recruiting process; one that already has several SEC schools showing interest.
“I’ve heard from Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas, and I recently went to a camp at LSU,” Spears said. “Most of the talk has been from schools around here, and it’s been fun so far.”
With interest in Spears starting years ago, she continues to receive advice as to what to work on in the next year if she should play at the Division I level.
Spears has taken all of that to heart, as she not only takes part in workouts with the Lady Bulldogs, but also playing AAU ball for the North Mississippi Basketball Hoop Dreams.
“I’m focusing mostly on my outside game and dribbling, shooting the ball,” Spears said of her summer workouts. “I’m just working on getting in better shape so I can play to the best of my ability next year.”