New Albany’s Spears Signs with Mississippi State
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – Vic Schaefer’s inaugural Mississippi State recruiting class added another standout as New Albany all-state forward Jazmine Spears signed with the Bulldogs for the 2013 season.
“Jazmine is a great player who comes from a great family. Scoring over 3,200 points in her career shows she has an offensive mindset that we are excited about,” Schaefer said. “Every player we have signed has an offensive skillset that will add to our team. Our returning players will tell you they have a tremendous defensive mindset, so there will be a good balance next season. Jazmine and the five freshmen we signed in the fall will provide a great influx of youth to our program.”
Last season, Spears earned all-state honors from the Clarion-Ledger for the third-straight year and was named the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Player of the Year after pacing John Stroud’s New Albany High School squad to a 19-7 record with 30.6 points, 15.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 3.7 blocks per contest.
“I’m very excited to become a Bulldog. I’m ready to experience the college life and play against some really good players,” Spears said. “Coach Schaefer and the other coaches welcomed me. The way they treated me, they made it feel like home.”
Following her senior season, Spears was named Clarion-Ledger First Team All-State while also earning a place on the Mississippi roster for the prestigious Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game. She was also selected to play in the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Game, where she earned defensive MVP honors after leading her North squad to a 74-62 win.
Spears, who scored 3,277 points and pulled down 2,149 rebounds in her career, earned second team All-State honors as a junior after taking first-team accolades her sophomore season.
During that junior season, she scored 28.6 points per contest while grabbing 16 rebounds, 4.5 assists and three blocks.
“I’ve coached basketball for 28 years, and Jazmine is the best female player I’ve coached,” Stroud said. “She has been a five-year starter for us and has earned all-state honors. She is a tremendous basketball player who has a tremendous offensive skillset. Jazmine has a great court awareness and basketball sense. She is like a coach on the floor.
“Jazmine has the ability to play different positions on the floor, and she does a lot of things well,” Stroud added. “She will be a big surprise to the Mississippi State program, and I have all the confidence that she will be a big contributor.”
As a sophomore, she captured first team all-state accolades after averaging 17.2 points and 11.5 rebounds to lead New Albany to the Mississippi Class 4A state championship.
Spears joins Texas all-state selections Ketara Chapel and Dominique Dillingham; Stoneleigh-Burnham School center Chinwe Okorie; Georgia Super 64 and all-state selection Breanna Richardson; and Mississippi all-state guard Kiki Patterson in comprising State’s 2013 freshman class.