Pilots in the Spotlight: Jazmyn Johnson

By The Beacon | January 30, 2013 9:00pm

Jazmyn Johnson (Stephanie Matusiefsky | THE BEACON)

By Taylor Tobin, Staff Writer tobint16@up.edu

Freshman women's basketball player Jazmyn Johnson from Kingwood, Texas is enthusiastic about this season. Johnson has appeared in 15 games this season as a reserve point guard. She loves her teammates, her coaches, and...chocolate?

What do you miss the most from home?

I miss knowing a lot of people. I grew up in a small school, so pretty much everyone knew each other. At home you'd just walk down the street, everyone knew everyone, you could say "hi" and have a conversation. I think that's mostly what I miss. I'm not really homesick, though. Here, I'm pretty much friends with just athletes. I'm just staring to branch out. Over the summer it was just athletes, so I got to know them. It's hard to go to classes and know someone and then talk to someone you don't know, because you're comfortable with [your friends]. I have a couple classes without anybody and I enjoy those classes, because I finally get to know someone new.

How have your older teammates helped you as a freshman?

They're actually someone to look up to. In high school, especially going to a small school, I never really had that person. [Alexis] Byrd is such a good role model on the floor. She's not selfish with the ball. I honestly look up to her most on the court. And Kari [Luttinen]. You can see you much experience in how they play, and that's how I want to be.

What is your favorite memory from the year so far?

I remember this summer we had to come for summer school and we all went hiking together. I remember that most of all. At first I was just hiking, I was like "I don't want to go hiking." But just being able to talk with them, and pretty much be stuck with them, it was so much fun seeing the personalities come out. At times I was a little shy, and that kind of brought me out. That's honestly my favorite memory.

What has been the hardest thing for you so this year?

My procrastination's killing me. I just want to go home and sleep when I have a five-hour gap between something, and I could be doing homework. So a lot of my homework is getting done literally the night before at one A.M. We'll see if it picks up, because it's killing me right now.

I heard you're really funny on the court. Why are you funny?

It takes me awhile to get completely out. I'm very personable, but when I first meet someone I don't want to be that crazy person. So I love that the summer got me really comfortable with the team. I love the coaches. They are so easy to talk that it kind of made it easy for me to be myself. Now I won't shut up on the court and I do crazy stuff and just have a blast.

Is there someone on the team you like to mess with?

The Finlands, Ellen [Nurmi] and Annika [Holopainen], I'll speak in Finnish. They taught us a bunch of words, some inappropriate, some not, and we'll say them on the court sometimes. Whenever they get mad on the court they'll say, "vittu," which means, "Dang it, oh my gosh, dang it!" So anytime I mess up or something, to mess with them, I'll be like, "vittu!"

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. I just got on coffee this year, iced mocha. I first started out with a white iced mocha, but then I realized that mocha is chocolate, I didn't know that. I thought it was just coffee until I got here, and then I was like "heck yeah!" So now I try to get a mocha when possible. I don't need them, but I like the taste.

Do you have a trademark line?

I'm really into saying "delish." Like, if someone does something really good, I'll say, "that was delish," or if someone's wearing something really cute, I'll be like "you look delish today." I just love food; I guess that's why it just caught on. Recently, one of the things I would always say was, "chunking up the deuces," like "chunk." I didn't realize that it was "chuck", so they've been like killing me on it. I just though it meant that you like "chunk" a ball, but apparently you "chuck" a ball. I thought it was like a chocolate chunk.