UTM player shoots for love of game, not glory
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:02
Since coming to UTM, Jasmine Newsome has been on fire.
The Millington native started playing basketball at a young age, spurred on by her older brother who played basketball.
“I got my love of basketball from my older brother,” Newsome said. “When I saw him play, I wanted to be just like him.”
Newsome worked hard to become just like her brother. Though she moved around a lot while growing up, she found a home at Millington Central High School. She helped her team win back-to-back district championships and even helped them finish second in sub-state in 2009-10 while she was a freshman.
Before coming to UTM, she already knew who Heather Butler was, because Millington Central and Gibson County high schools were rivals in AAU. But once the women left for UTM, they became best friends. As best friends, the duo pursued their joy of basketball. Newsome has watched her teammate achieve new heights as she broke two records this season. But the 5-foot-6-inch junior was biding her time.
During the Eastern Kentucky game this semester, Newsome passed to Butler as Butler was going to break the NCAA record for most consecutive games to hit a 3-pointer. When Butler hit the shot, it put Newsome over the edge. She broke the UTM assist record, which was held by Gwen Long with 458 career assists. At the time, Newsome had 464.
Newsome didn’t know about the record until after they announced it, but she was still as calm and collected as ever. Her best friend was more vocal about it.
“I love playing with Jasmine,” Butler said. “She deserves it. I wouldn’t have the all-time leading scorer record if it weren’t for her. She gives me the ball and on top of that, she scores as well. That’s not easy to do. She deserves it.”
And according to her stats, Newsome does score. When UTM played SEMO on Feb. 16, Newsome passed Mary Kate Long for the title as UTM’s second all-time leading scorer with 1,764 points. She now sits behind teammate Heather Butler.
“It’s amazing because we’re best friends, and she’s my partner-in-crime,” said Butler after Newsome jumped to second. “We’re first and second so it goes great.”
Even though she has two titles under her belt, Newsome isn’t done. In her career, she has posted 30 or more points in seven games. Recently, she scored 31 points in two consecutive games, first against Tennessee State and then again against Murray State.
Personal titles aren’t what Newsome dreams of achieving.
“I’m not really big on records,” said Newsome. “I’m excited about winning them, but if we’re winning, I’m most excited about that. Individual records don’t matter to me right now. I’ll worry about that at the end of the season.”
She really wants her team to go back to the OVC Tournament and bring home their second consecutive title. She wants to do what she does best and that’s play basketball.
“Right now I’m focused on playing to the best of my ability to help my team win,” Newsome said.
The OVC Tournament is scheduled for March 6-9 in Nashville. Follow The Pacer for updates.