ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Wayne Weaver admits to recruiting Jasmain Carey to play basketball, though there was nothing unethical about it.

Weaver ran into the then-12-year-old and asked her, like any good basketball coach would, if she played the game. After being told no, he convinced her and her mom that it might be worth a quick tryout.

It turned out to be worth a lot more. Now a high school junior, she's an outstanding post player on Weaver's Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe team that plays tonight in the Georgia Class AAA semifinals.

"After about five minutes I said to her, 'You know, you could become a great basketball player one day,'" Weaver recalled. "The thing is, she's still got such a great upside. With her strength and agility, and being her size, to me, she could be a Charles Barkley-type player in women's basketball.

"In the state tournament she's averaging about 18 rebounds per game and 14-15 points. By next year, you're going to see an even more dominant player."

The Lady Warriors (30-3) face Baldwin at 7 tonight at the Macon Centreplex for a spot in the Class AAA state final. Her inside presence will be a key against yet another team that must focus defensively on LFO's high-scoring guard, Kayla Weaver.

In the Lady Warriors' quarterfinal win over Dunwoody, Carey scored 16 first-half points while Weaver was double-teamed all over the court.

Though she spends most of her time under the basket and isn't afraid to do the dirty work in the lane, Carey's recent surge hasn't gone unnoticed.

"Jasmain is obviously a huge key to our success," Kayla Weaver said. "She's come such a long way offensively and defensively. She just eats glass. That's her biggest role on this team, rebounding, and she is great at it. And she plays great defense. A lot of our points come from her just getting offensive rebounds and transition rebounds."

The key to the improvement isn't sudden at all. In fact, Carey says she it took slowing down for her to start to reach her potential.

"I used to take the ball and shoot without being patient, and Coach Weaver had to calm me down," she said. "Now that I'm calmed down, I make more shots than last year. It didn't happen overnight. It took the entire summer to get me to do it."

For the Lady Warriors to reach the title game, Coach Weaver believes two things need to happen. One, they've got to execute the offense, which means not taking quick shots, and two, they need to handle the pressure he expects to see from the Baldwin guards.

"It's going to come down to us executing and playing as a team, remembering what our roles our," he said. "I think they will try to press us, but if we handle their pressure like we're supposed to and do the right things, I think we'll end up winning this game."

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT