By Alissa Sheppard
Behind her soulful smile there have been many ups and downs. After tearing her ACL in late 2010 and undergoing eight surgeries, Jasmine Jackson, music education senior, is still unable to do what she truly loves, play basketball.
Bringing tons of energy and her tremendous defense, Jackson is no doubt an amazing player. “We miss her,” said Dave Denly, head women’s basketball coach. He admits that there is a void since Jackson has been gone.
Heaven on Earth is what Jasmine Jackson said basketball is to her. “I gave basketball my all,” said Jackson. She feels like it was taken away from her for a reason. “That is not always how I looked at it, I thought I was being punished.”
Jackson said she was neglecting her music, but it is now her first priority because basketball is no longer an option.
“I don’t want to go back to being depressed,” said Jackson. Knowing that she is not out on the court is what hurts her the most. “I have filled the void in my life from basketball with my music,” said Jackson, who uses her music to stay busy. “Most of my days are in the choir hall. If I’m not there, I am in my room listening to and studying music,” said Jackson.
Growing musically is something Jackson admits she has done. “When I was playing basketball, all I listened to was R&B, but now I have expanded my horizons and became more versatile.” Jackson listens to a wide variety of music, from jazz to opera, she tries it all. “I give more to music so I can learn more,” said Jackson.
Dr. David Gardner, director of choirs, said she is extremely well rounded. Singing gospel comes natural to Jackson, but he can tell her what he needs and she will do it. Gardner also says he can call on her for anything from low alto to soprano. Gardner says he would have never chosen this path for Jackson, but it has given her the opportunity to dive into her music. Gardner says Jackson is a great communicator through her music. “Not only is she a great singer, but she is a storyteller,” said Gardner.
“I know what it is like to fail,” said Jackson, who wants to be remembered as that girl who never gave up.
“Until I can play again, the void will never be filled, but in the mean time I will focus on my music,” said Jackson, who is getting a knee replacement over the summer. She plans to return to basketball next year.
Alissa Sheppard is a senior majoring in communication. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.