Soto surpasses 1,000 points
Sophomore recognized for accomplishment
When it comes to Jazmine Soto, her stats do more than speak for themselves.
They scream at the top of their lungs, “You’ve gotta come watch this!”
Barely midway through her sophomore season on Strathmore High School’s girls basketball team, Soto’s already surpassed the coveted 1,000 point milestone that most basketball players don’t reach until their senior year.
On Wednesday, the guard was honored with a plaque to commemorate her accomplishment after scoring her first point in the Spartans’ 60-12 rout of East Sequoia League opponent, Woodlake (1-12, 0-3 ESL). After sinking a free throw early in the first quarter, a whistle was blown and it was announced to the crowd that Soto had passed 1,000 points.
Soto actually scored her 1,000th point in the Dinubaorosi Holiday Classic when Strathmore (13-5, 2-0 ESL) beat Granite Hills 59-48 during pool play on Dec. 22, 2018, so she was initially confused when the referees
“I had no idea what was going on,” Soto said after the game. “That’s why when they blew the timeout or whatever, I was confused.”
Against Granite Hills, Soto went off for 36 points and knocked down seven 3-pointers. She also tallied six rebounds and four steals.
“I was just relieved, you know, that I hit it my sophomore year, when I could’ve hit it my freshman year but it happens,” Soto said about the 1,000 point milestone.
Suprisingly Soto did all that after coming off the biggest game of her career the night before when she dropped a career-high 43 points against Reedley (7-7) in a 59-55 win. Those 43 points set the school record for most points in a game, breaking former Spartan Mariah Hernandez’s record by one point.
Last season as a freshman, she set the CIF Central Section freshman single-season record with 712 points and averaged 23.7 points a game. The record was previously set by Bullard’s Aairon Mcdonald (26 ppg) in 2013 with 694 points. Mcdonald now plays for Arizona, an NCAA Div. I program.
In Soto’s 29 games as a freshman she scored 10 or more points in 28 games, scored 15 or more in 27 and scored 20 or more in 20.
This year, Soto’s already off to a strong start with 429 points through 19 games and has yet to put up less than double-digits in every single one of them.
But even though she’s accomplished so much, Soto said she’s not concerned about any of her accolades. She’s most concerned about being the best player she can be for both her team and her family.
“It’s about the game,” Soto said. “I want to make it known. Like my last name. My dad always says, ‘Your last name is the most important thing.’ So yeah it comes to my head once in awhile, like I have to push and push. Not only for the game, but for myself as well as the team.”
Family is important for Soto and she said she looks up to her mom, Allison Soto, who was a star for Woodlake’s basketball team. Allison led the team to a Valley final and also eclipsed 1,000 points her senior year.
“They’re trying to get her to break my record, I had 49 points in a game,” Allison said with a laugh. “But I tell her not to compare herself, everyone’s different. You’ve got to be the best you can be. And always strive to be a better version of yourself every game. Don’t compare yourself. And that’s a problem because a lot of people know me and they compare her to me but I tell her, ‘You’re you and be you.’”
Allison said she was proud of Jazmine, who works hard and puts in work every single day.
“She started playing when she was six and she’s just one of those kids that just naturally likes to — if she comes to practice or she had a bad game, she’ll go home and want to work on something or practice a little bit more,” Allison said. “On the weekends she’ll go out there. Even if no one wants to play with her, she’s out there practicing by herself. Always looking for a game to play.”
After scoring a gamehigh 16 points Wednesday and leading the team with nine steals, as well as four rebounds, Jazmine is ready for the team’s next game. The Spartans travel to Farmersville Friday for another ESL game at 6:30 p.m.
But while Div. IV Strathmore makes their way around league play, Soto and the team remain focused on one thing — a Valley championship.
“I want to go far with this team,” Soto said. “I know they lost Valley before I came and that was tough. My coach, my team, we want to go back there and try to win it. That’s our goal, to get a ring.”
Above: Strathmore High School’s Jazmine Soto gets photos taken with her parents, Allison and Tony after a game against Woodlake High School Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Strathmore. Soto who scored 1000 points on December 22, 2018 received a plaque before the game. Below: Strathmore High School’s Jazmine Soto shoots for two.
Strathmore High School’s Jazmine Soto, right, steals a ball Wednesday, Jan. 9, during the second half of a game against Woodlake High School at Strathmore.