I belong to a relatively small percentage of people who learned to walk on their toes before walking normally. It is not so much a talent, or a gift as much as it is just one of those unusual facts that make me Jayleen Cole; the youngest and only girl out of 3, rubber ducky collector and female basketball athlete.
Basketball has been a piece of my being since kindergarten. As I grew, I watched my aunt play collegiate basketball for 2 consecutive years. At the end of her sophomore season, she experienced an adversity that very few are able to recover from. She had a beautiful baby girl that summer and had to sit out for an entire season before returning the following year. Much to my surprise, she was an even better player and stronger individual than before she had birthed her baby girl. I admired her most for the toughness and perseverance she displayed. From then on, my love and admiration grew for her and the sport tremendously.
I grew up watching my brother play basketball as well. He faced numerous hardships as his career developed and he just kept working harder. He showed me how to play; we worked in the driveway together and at the gym. We both made each other better. At the gym, I did my work and then played in all the pick-up games with my brother and the other boys. None could match my shot and I was always picked first because no one wanted to go against me in a shooting match.
Everyone hits highs and lows but not everyone gets up from those lows. I too had to decide how to respond to a low point in my basketball career. During a road trip tournament in the summer of 2015, I experienced set back, for the 1st time in my basketball career I was not a starter on the team, in fact I had hardly gotten into the game in the 1st part of the season. But by the grace of God, I worked every day, before and after practice to get strong. I am always the 1st in the gym. I put in the work daily to make me a better player and I feel it has made me a better person. The second half of the season I got the opportunity to start and play. I knocked down 5 ‘3 pointers to help not only take the lead at halftime, but also helped us win the game. I have started many games in the second half of the season which helped the teams record improve. I love basketball and I am having more fun playing than I have ever had in my life. I don’t want this to end. My ball skills continue to get tougher as my defense continues to improve. My shot is stronger and deeper than it has ever been as I can pull up from anywhere and drain a three. When I do my shot work, makes do not count if it hits the rim and it must be pure. This is what my trainer has taught me and we have worked with over the years.
I am currently the Loan Peak School Record holder with 6 made threes in a game (twice), made 3's in a season with 49 plus free throw percentage at 93% with currently 13 made attempts in a row.
Let me show you what I can do!