Richardson prepares for North-South game
by LaVonte Young
Winterboro’s Jasmine Richardson has put in a lot of hard work this summer preparing for the Alabama High School Athletic Association North-South basketball game on July 17 at the Dunn Oliver Acadome in Montgomery.

After being overlooked for the Alabama Sports Writers All-State basketball team last season, the rising senior goes into All-Star week planning to show that she is one of the best players in the state.

“That motivated me,” Richardson said. “I felt like I deserved it. I’ll be playing against some 1A players from the South team. Like my coach said, I need to defend the best player so the scouts can look at me, so that is what I will be doing.”

Last season, Richardson led Winterboro to a 29-4 record and a trip to the AHSAA Class 1A Central Regional Tournament. She averaged 19 points and nine rebounds per game. Richardson had a career night against Notasulga to get the Lady Bulldogs to the Regional Tournament. She scored 37 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and three assists.

The 5-foot-8 guard said she was surprised when she found out she made the North All-Star team.

“I was surprised,” Richardson said. “Coming from a small school I didn’t know people were looking at me like that.”

The North-South All-Star teams features the top 30 rising seniors in the state. Richardson is privileged to be one of the players on the roster.

With all the talent on court, Richardson knows she is going to have to find a way to separate her game from others.

“It is honor to play with them,” Richardson said. “It is going to be tough. I am going to have to find a way to get a starting spot. Some of my AAU teammates are on the same team as I am. It is going to be fun.”

Going into her senior season, Richardson has ambitions of playing for a major Division I program.

“Being in the North-South game, it is a big deal,” Richardson said. “I am going to have to step up my game, so the scouts can notice me.”

Richardson is the first Winterboro Lady Bulldogs to earn a spot on the North-South team.

Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said Richardson has a lot to prove in the All-Star game.

“What I expect to see from her is growth and maturity,” Smith said. “She has played against a lot of talent since her seventh grade year. I can run off a list of players that she has played in AAU; during my first time doing summer games, which was four years ago and all the players that she has played against in the summer. She contributed to the Winterboro team’s success of 78 wins in her five years. What I want to see now is that she needs to show a maturity level of knowing all situations. Knowing how to strategically how to play defense, knowing how to put the ball into the hole. On the collegiate level, you have to put the ball into the hole. College coaches believe they can teach you defense. It is a little bit different on the high school level that’s why we incorporate both. We are going to play defense and make you stop us on offense. I believe if she shows maturity as far as knowing the situations and constantly talking on the floor. When they go in that Monday, she has to go in with business at hand, because right now she is playing for a scholarship opportunity. I want to see growth and maturity. She has a lot to prove.”

Since school has ended Richardson has spent countless hours preparing for this opportunity.

The first-ever Lady Bulldog to earn All-Star honors believes that the North-South game will be a measuring stick for her game.

“My high school team this summer went good, but there are some things that we have to work on,” Richardson said. “Some of the games I was down, but I feel like I have improved a lot. The North-South game will show me where I am. I just have to play hard and work hard on my own on individual stuff.”
© 2013