Looking to stay close to home and hoping to make an impact as a freshman, Surrattsville High School senior guard Jasmine Hill recently verbally committed to Howard (D.C.) University.
“It’s about being close to home for me and they have a lot of seniors on the team so they’re looking to rebuild for a new year,” Hill said. “That’s another thing I was looking at too. I’m excited to graduate this year. High school has been real fun, but I want to see how the future turns out. I’ve always dreamed of playing college basketball.”
Hill will join a team that tied a program-high for wins last winter with a 24-9 record. It also advanced to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference final. The Bison went 14-2 in conference play a year ago and the team returns eight seniors.
Before enrolling to Howard, however, Hill, a four-year varsity starter, has a legitimate chance to score 1,000 points in high school. She will begin the 2012-13 campaign against Gwynn Park just four points short of the mark.
“That means a lot,” Hill said of the potential milestone. “I don’t know anybody — not any of my friends have done this before so it means a lot. It shows all of my hard work is finally paying off. I’m really excited.”
Hill, who has more than 500 assists, paced the Hornets a year ago by averaging 18.7 points per game, 2.7 assists, six rebounds and 3.9 steals.
As a sophomore, she averaged 13.4 points with 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 steals to help Surrattsville to the Class 1A South Region championship game.
“She has a motor that never stops,” said former Hornets girls coach Demario Newman, who now is the school’s boys basketball coach and athletic director. “Her drive, her determination, her work ethic — I’ve never actually coached a player such as her. She never quits.
“She’s talented, but she still works on her game. She has her own trainer and she’s always in the gym. You always tell a kid to ‘hone your craft.’ ... She really takes that to heart.”
Newman said he plans to stop a future Gwynn Park game to honor Hill once she reaches the 1,000-point mark and issue her the game ball.
“We’ve never had a losing record with the girls and she’s a big part of that,” Newman said. “We definitely have a good team coming back this year. They’ll definitely look to build on last year.”
It will be the case even though Newman has switched to the boys program. New girls basketball coach Tynisha Payton also is the school’s girls volleyball coach. Hill is in her third season playing for Payton on the volleyball team as an outside hitter and middle blocker.
“She’s a really good coach,” Hill said. “I listen to her; I learn from her. I love our new coach.”