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The Jaz of All Trades

Bri Hodges, Writer

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Jazmine Charles, is one of the greatest athletes to ever attend Lenior- Rhyne University. As a senior, Charles was voted South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year. She led her team to a SAC conference title. She would leave LR as the All-time leader in three pointers and a WBCA All-American. And if her achievements on the court did not impress you, she also was a star off the court in the classroom, Charles won Student Athlete of the Year. Charles, just three years after her fairytale finish to her college basketball career, has returned to the SAC as a coach. She has joined forces with conference rival, Catawba College. Students at Catawba College call her Professor Charles. Athletes at Goodman Gymnasium call her Coach Jaz. During the day, Charles teaches communication courses in Ralph A. Ketner School of Business here at Catawba. By Night, she transforms from business slacks to gym shorts ready to help coach the women’s basketball team. “For me having the mindset of a player, I think one thing I could help the girls with player development and working with them individually, being that motivation on the sideline,” Charles explained. As an assistant Women’s Basketball Coach for the past two semesters, she is already making her mark here.

Her basketball career began very humble like many kids, she grew up watching her father play the game. She describes herself in her youth as active and competitive, willing to play any sport. She figured everyone else was doing it so why not? Basketball would soon evolve from a hobby to a passion for Charles in the forthcoming years. Charles’ father started a travel team and she made the decision to play on his team. The cycle continues as she makes her transition from player to coach. “It’s been a pretty big learning experience, it’s really hard when you still love the game and want to play to just take yourself out of it and think like a coach,” Charles said.

She admits she still has a lot to learn but she has grown over the past couple of months between, learning Catawba’s style of play, forming relationships with the players, and finding her niche within the team. Charles describes the women’s basketball team this year as “very talented”. She has grown to relate with the girls and deepen her knowledge of the game. “I wanted to be that older sister where if I leave or the girls graduate they know they can always call me,”  Charles said.

So what does Jazmine Charles like besides basketball? She jokes about her second passion for food. She thinks she may have missed her calling to be a chef. “I’m a foodie, I really like trying new foods,” Charles replied. The sky is the limit for Charles after her retirement from the hardwood. In 5 years she sees herself established in a career of coaching, broadcast, or public relations. Wherever her career may lead her she knows that she will be around her passion the game of basketball.

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The Jaz of All Trades