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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Jasmyne Harris: "I doubt if people forgot about me; but, if they did, when they come to the games, they're going to see who I am."
POSTED: November 4, 2019 -- 9:28 a.m. CT
Jasmyne Harris averaged 16.2 points per game during the 2018-'19 season. She became the 24th player in program history to reach 1,000 points. Jasmyne played in and started 14 games last season. Then, her season ended Sunday, January 6, 2019, in a home game versus the Connecticut Huskies.
Harris played the first half versus UConn. She didn't play the second half nor any game the rest of the season. Jasmyne had personal issues she needed to take care of; and, Houston Head Coach Ronald Hughey gave Jas time to handle her issues before returning to the team.
Coach Hughey said Jasmyne called him at the end of last season and said, "I'm ready to do whatever y'all ask me to do. I'm ready to do whatever the team needs me to do."
"To go through what she went through last season to go through the counseling; doing the community service we asked her to do; getting her grades up.
"I think we had a list of like seven or 8 things that she needed to do to get back; and, she completed everything and was happy to do it.
"But, we're expecting great things from her (this season)."
Hughey added, "Before our first team meeting, she went to the front of the room and said to her teammates: 'I let you guys down. I let you guys down; and, that's not who I am. Basketball is something that I love; and, I'm ready to get back at it and be able to put your trust back in me.' "
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During last week's Houston Cougars Basketball Media Day, Jasmyne spoke with me and other members of the media about learning from last season and being ready for the 2019-'20 season.
Here's my Q and A with Jas:
The HRR: Tell me what you're expecting this season. From yourself.
Jasmyne: I'm expecting to have a better season than what I did last year. Being a leader on and off the court and just helping my teammates as much as I can. And, showing them I'm a better person and overall teammate as a whole.
The HRR: Did what happen last year did you learn from it?
Jas: Yeah. For sure. Actually, I know it was a mistake; but, in the long run, it helped me as a whole. So, I'm not going to see I needed it (to happen); but, yeah, I needed that because it helped me out not just on the court but off the court also.
The HRR: Is it a sense of, I guess, maturity?
Jas: Just some stuff. Problems that I was just having that needed to be worked on and fixed that I got together.
The HRR: What did you work on this offseason?
Jas: My attitude. My defense. My shot. Trying to be a leader. Being more vocal. Stuff like that.
The HRR: How has practice gone so far in your opinion?
Jas: It's been pretty good actually. We're still the same team: up the line. We're going to always be pressuring defensively, you know, full court man. We like to push up and down; so, you know we're always going hard doing those types of things. Every practice is always hard. Going hard the whole two hours and thirty minutes. We're always pushing and going hard.
The HRR: As a senior, do you feel any pressure trying to go out, in your last year at UH?
Jas: No, I really don't. I felt, coming off my sophomore year last year, a lot of pressure going into the season; but, this season, I feel relaxed. I feel like me again.
The HRR: Do you feel a sense of wanting to show people who may have forgotten about you?
Jas: Nah. I doubt if people forgot about me; but, if they did, when they come to the games, they're going to see who I am.
The HRR: How good can this team be this season?
Jas: Oh, we can be really good. Like I told one of the coaches the other day, during the Mississippi State scrimmage, the way we played and stuff surprised myself. We are, actually, a really great team. If we just stay consistent and keep pushing, we're going to be really great.
The HRR: Encourage people to come see y'all play at home games.
Jas: Well, we're a very exciting a team. We're fast. We're quick. We ain't the type to just slow the game down. None of that. We're all athletic. I think we're a very exciting team to watch.
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