El­ston tak­ing her tal­ents to State Fair

The Catoosa County News - - WORSHIP DIRECTORY - By Scott Herpst

Take one look at Lake­view-Fort Oglethorpe bas­ket­ball stand­out Jazzmyn El­ston on the court and it’s plain to see that the Lady War­rior star is go­ing places.

And the next place she’s go­ing is Sedalia, Mis­souri.

The se­nior will be play­ing next sea­son at Mis­souri ju­nior col­lege power State Fair Com­mu­nity Col­lege af­ter sign­ing a full schol­ar­ship with the Lady Road­run­ners last Tues­day af­ter­noon.

“This means a lot,” said El­ston “I never thought I’d ever make it this far, es­pe­cially start­ing so late for my age, but this is a bless­ing for sure. I don’t know how (State Fair) found me, but they con­tacted (LFO head) Coach (De­wayne) Watkins and said they wanted me. They are giv­ing me such a great of­fer.”

El­ston said she will be fly­ing out to visit the cam­pus for the first time on March 10.

State Fair, whose cam­pus is lo­cated ad­ja­cent to the Mis­souri State Fair­grounds, is a two-year school of about 5,000 stu­dents that plays in Divi­sion I of the Na­tional Ju­nior Col­lege Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion (NJCAA). The team plays in Re­gion 16, the tough Mis­souri Com­mu­nity Col­lege Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (MCCAC).

El­ston led LFO in points (20.7 per game), re­bounds (6.6) and steals (2.9) this past sea­son to help the Lady War­riors to a 17-10 record.

“She’s had some awe­some ac­com­plish­ments here,” Watkins said of El­ston, who trans­ferred to LFO from East Ridge fol­low­ing her fresh­man year. “She had a pretty good first year, but she was still a lit­tle hes­i­tant on both ends of the floor as she tried to get to know her new team­mates.

“Last year, she got a lit­tle frus­trated when other teams found out what a spe­cial player she was and started face-guard­ing her. She re­ally didn’t like that very much, but she re­ally worked hard in the off-sea­son, got in shape and got pre­pared be­cause we knew and she knew that teams were go­ing to do that again (this past sea­son) and she han­dled it.

El­ston fin­ished with 1,115 points in three sea­sons at LFO.

“I re­ally wish I’d

had her here as a fresh­man,” Watkins added.

State Fair went 19-8 in the reg­u­lar sea­son and 7-2 in con­fer­ence play this sea­son. They are coached by Kevin Bucher, who is in his sev­enth sea­son af­ter serv­ing as an as­sis­tant coach for five years. He has a 134-51 record in six full sea­sons and has coached nine All-Amer­i­cans, 33 Al­lRe­gion play­ers and three Aca­demic Al­lAmer­i­cans dur­ing his ten­ure.

Watkins said Bucher’s play­ers have a 100 per­cent grad­u­a­tion rate and that sev­eral have gone on to sign NCAA Divi­sion I schol­ar­ships.

Two of the mem­bers of the cur­rent ros­ter, made up of play­ers from nine dif­fer­ent states and Canada, signed with In­di­ana State and Texas-Rio Grande Val­ley back in Novem­ber.

“They are get­ting a great player in Jazzmyn,” Watkins added. “She’s su­perath­letic. She can score from the 3-point line, she can get to the bas­ket and she shoots free throws well. I re­ally think her best days are still ahead of her. She still has some grow­ing to do, but with the steps she’s made over the last three years, I can see her con­tin­u­ing to move for­ward. She’s got a chance to be re­ally spe­cial.”

El­ston said she plans to bring in­ten­sity and the proper at­ti­tude to every game she plays for the Lady Road­run­ners.

“I’m go­ing to miss my team­mates,” she added. “They are like fam­ily and they mean a lot to me. We’re all like sis­ters. They have pushed me to strive to do my best and I will miss them a lot.”

El­ston said she plans to study psy­chol­ogy or pho­tog­ra­phy in col­lege.

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