Athlete of the week: Jasmine Wilkins

Jasmine Wilkins, a red shirt junior and business administration major, is a forward for the women’s basketball team and is playing some of the best basketball of her life.

She was recently named the Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week for the second consecutive week, averaging 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the season.

“I feel grateful and blessed. It’s a great feeling and everyone is happy for you. It feels good to be recognized,” said Wilkins.

Wilkins grew up not too far from NSU in Miami, Fla. and attended Hialeah Senior High School. She has been playing basketball since she was 5 in neighborhood parks but credits her middle school coach for really getting her into the sport.

Wilkins knew she wanted to stay close to home so she could be close to family, especially her grandmother. She chose NSU because of a lucky encounter between one of her high school coaches and a coach at NSU. It didn’t hurt that NSU was 30 minutes away from her hometown.

“I was not heavily recruited [out of high school], and actually my [high school] assistant coach was on a plane with the [NSU] soccer coach who contacted the [NSU] basketball coach at the time about me, and
she came to one of my games,” said Wilkins.

She was unable to compete in the 2012/2013 season because of a knee injury, but she has been feeling better than ever.

“Coming back from my injury has been my greatest accomplishment after all the adversity I had to deal with, and I feel like I handled it very well,” said Wilkins “The knee is great. I honestly forget about it until I see my scar.”

It wasn’t easy for Wilkins to sit on the bench and cheer her team on as they had their best season in school history, reaching the Elite-8 of the NCAA tournament.

“At first it was really difficult. It was a feeling of knowing you can’t get in and help your team because you’re not 100 percent. But at the end of the day, I am not a selfish person. I tried my best to give my best of what I could to my team when they needed me. Whether it was a voice or shoulder to lean on, I was there,” said Wilkins.

She and the team set goals in the offseason to prepare for what became their most anticipated season to date.

“Getting in shape and back in the groove — but we talked about improving rebounding being our main goal. [Our] goal is to be the number one rebounding team in the conference.”

The No. 3 ranked Sharks have started the season 13-0, the best start in school history, and have beaten multiple top-25 teams. Wilkins and the team have been tested this season but have been able to come out on top in every situation.

I sat down with Wilkins to ask her some questions to get to know her.

How would you describe yourself as a player?
“I am very humble. I am not a trash talker. That’s not part of my game.”

What part of your game would you like to improve on?
“Being more confident in shooting.”

What do you do for fun?
“Hang out with my boyfriend, teammates and family. I listen to music and love to play Sudoku. I have, like, seven [Sudoku] books.”

How do you spend your offseason?
“Training and working on top of that. But this offseason, I will probably just be in school.”

Who would you like to play one-on-one with?
“LeBron James.”

Who is your favorite athlete?
“I’m not a big sports person, but I would have to give it to Kevin Garnett.”

Who would you in a movie about your life?
“It would have to be someone good looking and tall: Gabrielle Union.”

How would you like to be remembered?
“I would like to be remembered as someone who is very caring first and foremost. I think that’s a great characteristic to have. Someone who is hard-working, dedicated, reliable, smart and loud.”

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