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Q&A: Jasmine Martin
Jasmine Martin’s love for basketball started at a young age. From a child to her junior year at Quinnipiac, Martin has added item after item to her list of accomplishments, highlighted by last year’s Northeast Conference Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Through the highs and lows of the season, Martin keeps herself grounded, smiling the whole way.
QBSN: How did you start playing basketball?
JM: I started playing soccer and I didn’t really like it, so basketball was the next sport I got involved with. My brother played, so I always watched him playing, and we always played in the neighborhood with the neighborhood kids, so that’s when I fell in love with it.
QBSN: What do you love most about basketball?
JM: The team aspect, getting to meet so many different people. I met so many people like throughout basketball whether it was AAU, high school, college. I’ve just been able to travel, and it’s just been a really good experience as far as that goes.
QBSN: What was your toughest obstacle you had to overcome in basketball so far?
JM: Probably when I was in the seventh grade, my coach gave me a decision. He said that either you can go on the A team but you won’t play as much or you can got to the B team and you will probably be the star of that team. Previously, the year before I was on the A team, but they didn’t expect me to get any better, and I did so they put me on the B team. I just told my dad that I just want to be put somewhere that they actually want me to play, so that just pushed me to work harder on my game. I feel like if it weren’t something like that, I don’t know if I would be here at the Division I level.
QBSN: What’s your favorite moment playing at Quinnipiac so far?
JM: Probably winning the championship and going to the tournament. There’s nothing like it. It was unbelievable. We are looking to do it again this year, and we just got to continue working. It’s still possible.
QBSN: What was your biggest moment in basketball ever?
JM: One of the biggest games I had was in high school. We were down by five with 35 seconds left, and I hit a crazy three with three people on me to send it into overtime, and we ended up winning. That’s probably the craziest game I ever had. That just sticks in my mind and probably here, the game last year against Mount St. Mary’s in the semifinals.
QBSN: What is your goal for you and the team this season?
JM: We’re looking to win another championship going to the tournament. We just got to take care of business in these last couple of conference games before playoffs start, then put ourselves in a good position once playoffs come around.
QBSN: Do you have a pre-game ritual, if so what?
JM: I don’t think I have a ritual. I just try to get ready for the game, probably listen to music, but I don’t really have a ritual I wouldn’t say.
QBSN: What’s something you’ve learned from basketball that you use in life?
JM: I’ve learned a lot from my dad, definitely when it comes to using stuff for basketball in the real world. Teamwork, in that you have to learn to work with people on the court. You have to learn to work with people.
QBSN: What’s your favorite thing to do when playing basketball?
JM: Probably score the ball. It’s a good feeling.
QBSN: What’s your favorite meal to eat before a game?
JM: I love food. We usually have Chartwells, but if I had a choice, I would eat like a steak or something but you know I have to eat right before the game. Eat like a salad, a nice little pasta or something, nothing too heavy, but after the game, it’s on.
QBSN: What’s your favorite song to listen to in the locker room before a game?
JM: Beyoncé, “Drunk in Love.”
QBSN: What’s the difference between your experience playing basketball in high school than playing at QU?
JM: In high school, it was a lot more laid back. You can do what you want. There’s a lot more rules here. It’s a lot tougher, and it’s a lot harder. You just have to learn to just keep growing every year, in high school, as well, but high school was really easy. You know, I’ve been challenged a lot here at this level and just trying to overcome that.
QBSN: What are your hobbies outside of basketball?
JM: I’m a film major, so I love working on projects that I have, going to the movies, sleeping, eating, all those type of things.
QBSN: What do you enjoy the most from being a film major?
JM: I just love envisioning something in my mind and making it come to life, and I feel like so far at this school and with what I’ve been handed, I’ve been able to do that and I really like it.
QBSN: What do you like about Quinnipiac the most?
JM: I love this arena and playing in here everyday. Not too many people get to play in an arena like this. It’s something that’s special, and I can really appreciate definitely by coming here.
QBSN: How do you balance school and basketball?
JM: Whenever I have free time, I just try and get all my homework done so I can just rest and get the rest I need for when basketball is here, but it’s definitely something I had to learn. Time management, managing my time, like you said with school and basketball, it’s not easy, but we do it. Some of us have power hours, which is like a study hall, others just get their work done.
QBSN: What is your goal as a student on campus?
JM: I like to make other people smile and other people laugh, so if I can put a smile on someone’s face, hey, glad I can help.
QBSN: Who is your role model and why?
JM: My parents. They have a tremendous work ethic. I’ve been able to watch what they’ve done, you know with me and my siblings growing up, and I want to continue to make them proud and also continue to grow and be more like them everyday.
QBSN: How do you think you parents feel about your milestones and your journey so far?
JM: I think they are very proud. That’s what I’ve always tried to do. I’ve tried to make them proud and I think I’ve done that so far. I have a younger sister who will be coming here in a couple of years, and she is doing the same thing. We just always try and do our best and no matter what, they are always going to be there for us and support us and that’s really big to me.
QBSN: What motivates you to keep playing basketball?
JM: I’ve been playing since I was eight, you know I’ve made it this far. I just got to keep pushing, I mean there is potential to play overseas maybe after college, so that’s something I definitely want to do. It’s just what I know and what I do, it’s what keeps me going.
QBSN: Is there any other sport you played competitively in high school?
JM: In high school, no. I actually did throw in high school but not seriously. I would just go to the meets and throw.
QBSN: What clubs are you in on campus?
JM: When I’m not in the season, I’m a part of Sports Paws, and I used to be on Q30 News, but conflicted with my class and everything but that’s probably pretty much it.
QBSN: Do you plan to keep playing basketball after you graduate?
JM: Yeah, I look to hopefully play overseas and I just want to travel. We really don’t get that opportunity in college. We went to Italy and that was like a glimpse of what it could be. That was very exciting and I would love to do something like that.
QBSN: What is your favorite quote and what does it mean to you?
JM: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” only because I haven’t always been the best or the most gifted, but I worked hard to get where I am today. My dad always told me to just keep working hard, you know. There’s always going to be someone that’s better than you, stronger than you, faster than you, but you’re putting in that work to you know better yourself. You know, at the end of the day you can say I gave it my all and did the best I could.