GVL Archive
Senior guard Jasmine Padin dribbles down the court

GVL Archives

GVL Archive Senior guard Jasmine Padin dribbles down the court

Stephanie Deible

Her name may be etched in Grand Valley State University women’s basketball record books now, but senior Jasmine Padin’s first encounter with sports began in a boxing ring, not on a basketball court.

Padin, a native of Wyoming, Mich., took on boxing for four years before her older brother, Jose Padin, sparked her curiosity in basketball.

“One day my brother picked up a basketball, and I saw him playing in the park,” Padin said. “I was like, ‘Hey what is that?’ He honestly taught me the game of basketball, and I fell in love with it.”

Although GVSU’s 5-foot-2 point guard gave up boxing to pursue the game of basketball, boxing principles came in handy when she had to “fight” to prove she could play the basketball beyond high school.

“I’ve kind of embraced my shortness — it was nothing I could change, so it allowed me to be more motivated,” she said. “People would tell me that I’m too little or I’m too short, and I’m never going to play basketball at a high level, but I never saw my height as an issue. I saw it as a benefit.”

Padin even had to prove herself to GVSU head coach Janel Burgess, who said she was initially hesitant to recruit Padin but decided to give her a chance to suit up for the Lakers.

Now in her fourth season as a GVSU starter, Padin has put to bed any doubts Burgess may have had. In 90 games, Padin has left her mark on GVSU basketball history, ranking second in all-time free-throw percentage, third in all-time 3-pointers made and fifth in all-time career assists.

But with all of her offensive accomplishments at GVSU, Burgess said it’s Padin’s defensive prowess that makes her a special player.

“What makes her good is her ability to be a defensive gnat, a defensive anchor on the full-court,” she said. “And her ability to be able to be a strong point guard, offensively run the show and make her teammates better. She can also hit a deep three and alleviate pressure on the inside.”

Padin’s teammates, on the other hand, look to her for her knowledge and commitment to the game.

“From a coaches perspective, she is probably the perfect point guard,” said senior forward Kara Crawford. “Because she’s a senior now, she has a lot of knowledge, and I think that Coach can trust her. A lot of times Coach doesn’t have to call a play because Jasmine already has one in mind.”

In her last season with the GVSU, Padin said her goal is to have a successful year and embrace her opportunities with her teammates.

“Of course, everyone wants to win the big one,” she said. “To be GLIAC season champs and be tournament champs, and hopefully win a national championship. As far as my senior season goes, I want us to be successful on the court, but at the same time, I just want to build friendships with my teammates, which I have done since I’ve been here.”

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