By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
It’s not unusual for high school coaches of elite basketball players to be contacted by college programs and asked to evaluate those players as part of the recruiting process.
What is a bit unusual is conducting that evaluation when the player in question happens to be you daughter.
It is something that Lynnwood girls basketball coach Everett Edwards is getting used to with his daughter, Jasmin, and likely will experience again in a few years with Jasmin’s younger sister, Jordyn.
Jasmin is a 4.0 student and extremely successful in basketball and softball for the Royals, so it isn’t hard for her dad to come up with things to say.
“You have to be humble,” Everett Edwards said. “Honestly, I send out game film of my kids. Any kid that is interested in college, we send out the game film and the game film speaks for itself.
“(Jasmin) truly has proven it on and off the court that she is a good player. So whether she is my kid or not, it’s easy to talk about Jasmin to colleges because she is a leader and I feel she is one of the best point guards coming out of the state of Washington next year.”
Jasmin has been busy this summer as she works towards gaining notoriety with college coaches and trying to earn an athletic scholarship. In addition to playing with her Lynnwood High teammates on the school’s summer league team, she also competed with the Northwest Blazers on both their black and orange select basketball teams.
The Lynnwood High summer team placed first in the Edmonds School District tournament that featured more than 30 teams, and also took first in the WA Preps league. The Royals’ summer team also traveled to Oregon for the End of Trails tournament, where they finished second in their bracket.
She also competed in the End of Trails tournament with the Blazers.
Most recently, Jasmins made a cross-country trip to compete in the Music City Madness tournament in Tennessee and the Adidas National Tournament in Georgia with the Blazers.
The goal for all of the players competing in high-profile national viewing tournaments like the ones in Tennessee and Georgia is to earn full athletic scholarship to a four-year university. Jasmin, however, has learned to balance her individual goals with the goals of the team.
“I’ve learned that when you play more as a team you really do get noticed more,” Jasmin said. “It makes you a better player overall instead of trying to be more individual while you play. The teams I’ve played on have been great, everyone plays so well together.”
Playing against such talented players and teams is something that Jasmin said can make her an even better player next year for the Royals.
“I know playing against all of these amazing players that I’ve played against this summer has really helped build my confidence and skills and knowing that if I can play well against them I can do it against any other person,” Jasmin said. “Just playing a lot of basketball helps and hopefully will bring a lot to the season.”
Jasmin has been contacted by a few schools in the days since the tournaments, but said her options for college remain completely open.
There is little question that Jasmin is talented enough to earn a college athletic scholarship, but if it doesn’t work out or she isn’t offered a full ride, she can fall back on being a straight-A student.
“She is kind of like a robot,” Everett Edwards said. “She’s just been doing it with the academics, getting her homework done and dealing with basketball and softball.”
Between academics and athletics, Jasmin appears to be the type of student athlete that colleges would love to have — and it gives her dad plenty to talk about when they inquire.
“With Jasmin, it’s really been fun being able to have a great player and a great leader,” Everett Edwards said. “To have coaches inquire with phone calls and with emails and with wanting to come in and watch our practices, as a father and a coach I’m just really proud of her because she’s a great student as well as a great athlete.”
Jasmin has played against many of the nation’s best players and teams this summer, but her favorite moment of it all happened close to home when the Lynnwood team played 4A defending state champion Mead at the End of Trails Tournament and won.
The more you know about Jasmin Edwards and her experiences the past three seasons at Lynnwood, the more you understand why beating a state championship caliber team means so much to her. The Royals have had very successful regular seasons in each of her three seasons in high school, but have fallen short of state each year.
As a freshman, they were bounced in a game against Glacier Peak that would have qualified them for the state regional round. The year after that they advanced to regionals, only to be knocked out in the single elimination game.
This past season after moving up from Class 3A to 4A, the Royals had lost just two games going into the regional round and were considered one of the favorites to win the state championship only to succumb once again. Lynnwood lost a heartbreaking double overtime game to Kentwood in the regional round and saw their state championship hopes fade away again.
“We are all motivated and we all know that we don’t want that feeling again,” Jasmin said.
When coach Edwards was asked what the team’s expectations were for next season, he deferred the question to his daughter.
“To win our league and win our district games and regional game and to win state,” she said.
The Royals have reason to believe that goal is attainable, especially after beating Arlington twice last season including in the district championship game. The Eagles went on to play Mead for the state championship.
“We’ve kind of avoided (talking about the state championship), but seeing Arlington’s success and knowing that if we are blessed with health at that time of year, we are competing to try and win a state tournament,” Jasmin Edwards said.
First things first: the Royals have to get out of the regional round. They have scheduled tough opponents in their non-league, regular-season schedule in preparation for what is almost always a hard fought single-elimination game.
“We want to be pushed as much as we can be pushed,” coach Edwards said.
And if the Royals are able to finally get over the hump that is regionals, Jasmin said she knows it will be an emotional moment.
“It would be emotional for me just because of how much you put in leading up to those kind of moments,” Jasmin said. “Falling short has been emotional, but not in a good way, so winning (the regional game), I know there would be tears, but they would be happy tears because all the hard work will finally payoff in a game like that.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.