It’s Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The Quinnipiac Bobcats are one of four teams participating in the Brown Bear Classic at Brown University, along with the University of Massachusetts, Brown and Morgan State University.
As a way to kick off the tournament, each of the four teams is asked to get up and sing its school’s fight song or a song of its choosing. Not knowing the fight song on demand and being a bit more on the reserved side, the Bobcats didn’t know what to sing. Sophomore guard Jasmine Martin stood up in front of the team and got them pumped up and singing a song called “The Water Twist,” which Martin made up in high school.
Quinnipiac went on to win both games that weekend.
“[Martin] basks in that center stage, and I think the team would really see that,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “I think that’s just a perfect example. Her just taking the bull by the horns and not being shy and being confident and leading the team in just a song.”
It is that confidence and desire to lead that earned Martin the co-captain title in her sophomore season and a starting position. She totaled 346 points in her freshman year, and is currently second in points (276) on the team, right behind senior Felicia Barron (328), with eight games remaining in the regular season.
Martin also holds the all-time and single-season scoring records for both the boys’ and girls’ teams at Timber Creek High School, where she was named Most Valuable Player her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
“To be successful, you just have to have confidence, and go out there and play every game just as if it’s any other game,” Martin said. “You can’t just psych yourself out, so that’s something I’m really working on, especially getting deep into the season.”
Her success on the court has led opposing teams to perceive her as a threat, one that they have started preparing for.
“The word’s out there that you’re going to have to pay attention and contend with Jasmine Martin out on the floor, and what she does really well and make sure you’re taking that away from her. They know their game-planning for her,” Fabbri said.
Off the court, Martin has a similar personality. She knows what she wants and is “always really motivated to achieve and be her best,” according to Fabbri. Her friends and teammates know they can rely on her when something needs to be done or when they just need their spirits lifted.
“Jasmine is one of the most outgoing people I know, I swear she could have an interesting conversation with a wall,” sophomore co-captain Gillian Abshire said. “She is one of those people that everyone loves and it’s not hard to love her. She just makes you laugh.”
Fabbri attributes Martin’s confidence and skill on and off the court to Martin’s family.
“She’s got such a great family, and they’re just so into everything that they do, good and bad,” Fabbri said. “That’s where it all starts, and I think that’s why we see who we see on the court because of where she comes from.”
Although Martin calls Slicklerville, N.J. home, her family still comes out to see her play. She often has uncles, aunts, her brother, her sister and her parents in the stands.
“Her personality’s what really separates herself, and it’s that personality that comes from a real inner confidence, and I think that confidence comes from her family,” Fabbri said. “They’re just really strong, they’re about each other, they’re about a lot of love, and I think that’s where you see that personality come off on the floor, so it’s the person we see — the personality, the confidence that comes from the family — that translates into her being a really good basketball player.”
Martin ended up falling in love with the sport around age 8 or 9. Growing up, she would attend her older brother’s games and practice with the boys, as well as taking on her brother at one-on-one.
“He would always beat me,” Martin said. “I actually did beat him once. He doesn’t like to admit it, but I did beat him once. He was always bigger than me, stronger than me, so playing against boys and someone who’s better than me got me better.”
Even though most of her family may not be able to attend every game, her dad and uncle Kenny try to be in the stands at every home match-up, as well as any away ones they can.
“My dad, growing up, he was always like a coach to me, so when I’m feeling discouraged or something, sometimes I’ll just look up into the stands and he’s just encouraging me, clapping for me to keep going. To always just see that is just awesome. I love it,” Martin said.
Basketball is not the only thing Martin’s family has offered her support in. After discovering her talent for making movies in high school, her family encouraged her to pursue her interest in college. She enjoyed playing around with iMovie on her Mac computer and learning how to film and edit videos.
“As high school went on, I kept on making more and more films,” Martin said. “I just saw how much I loved it and love doing it, and I love when I go home and get to see the old films that I made compared to the ones I’m making now and how much I’ve grown in that aspect of just the higher level film has gotten to.”
Since arriving at Quinnipiac, she has declared a film, video and interactive media major and has joined Q30 as a sports anchor.
“Whatever I can do in front of the camera, behind the camera, all that type of stuff, I’m really into that, so I love the whole film aspect of things,” Martin said.
As for what lays ahead after graduation, Martin is unsure. Whether it’s continuing basketball or integrating herself into the movie world, she knows she’ll enjoy it.
“I would love to travel and see the world,” Martin said. “[Playing basketball] would be an amazing experience, but you get to do that with film as well, so whatever door opens for me, I’m willing to take that and who knows.”