A case can be made that Mead senior Jazmine Redmon is the best athlete in the region, if not the state.
Consider the most recent entries on Redmon’s resume. She was the Greater Spokane League’s most valuable player in basketball last year; she ran a leg on the Panthers’ 1,600-meter relay that captured a second state title last spring; and she was named the GSL’s defensive MVP in the just-completed soccer season.
“If you compare her accomplishments to the athletes who have gone through our league, male or female, I can’t imagine there are many who have accomplished the things she’s accomplished and had the grades (3.3-grade point average) she had,” Mead girls basketball coach Regan Drew said. “You don’t see a lot of three-sport athletes anymore. She’s had an impact on every team in every season.”
She’s not finished yet, especially when it comes to her favorite sport, basketball. The 5-foot-8 point guard, who signed a letter of intent with Gonzaga University last month, wants to repeat as the GSL’s MVP. She also has a chance to climb as high as second on the league’s career scoring list.
A four-year starter, Redmon hopes to lead Mead back to state. The last time the Panthers qualified for state was her freshman year.
Coaches have tabbed Lewis and Clark the favorite to win a fourth straight league title. But they also expect Mead and Central Valley to challenge.
“We want to make it to state,” Redmon said. “We want to be successful, have good chemistry and grow together as a team throughout the season.”
Mead will feature a guard-heavy lineup.
“We’ll have to rebound well,” said Redmon, who led Mead on the boards with nine per game last year to go with team highs in points (17.8), assists (six) and steals (five).
It’s no wonder she caught the attention of GU coach Kelly Graves.
“Jazmine is an amazing athlete and perhaps the best defensive guard on the West Coast,” Graves said in a school news release when she signed. “She will give us a different dimension and will allow us to do more things defensively in the future. What I am most impressed with, however, is what a great competitor she is and the enormous consistency with which she plays every game.”
Redmon can score in a variety of ways, and she has added a pull-up jumper to her arsenal.
“It’s something I’ve been working on from the free-throw line or just inside the key,” she said.
No matter how Redmon is attacking the basket, Drew said teams will have difficulty defending her.
“She’s just really kind of discovering her offensive rhythm,” Drew said. “She’s worked on being a more versatile scorer and being more consistent. Probably one of the reasons she was the MVP last year is she was able to get settled. She had confidence and did things in rhythm where she wasn’t rushing. The confidence translated into consistency. There was a stretch in six or seven games last year where she averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds per game. She wasn’t taking a million shots. She was just very efficient.”
Drew expects similar production this year.
“The neat thing about Jazmine is she still has a ton of potential,” Drew said. “A lot of girls can reach their potential at a young age. It’s based on the way female athletes mature. But with Jazmine there’s so much more potential. She’ll be a huge asset to Gonzaga.”