Jasmine Camp discovered her competitive streak at an early age.
Whether she was playing basketball, doing schoolwork or some other activity, mediocrity wasn’t something Camp was comfortable with. She still isn’t.
Now a senior at Chamblee and one of the most coveted high school guards in the country, Camp has made that mindset work for her.
She ended a national quest for her talent last month by signing a scholarship with Stanford University, choosing the Cardinal program over Illinois and Virginia Tech. She also was recruited by Georgia, Georgia Tech and Florida, among others. Camp will carry a 3.95 grade point average with her to Stanford.
“I knew I didn’t want to be average,” Camp said. “I always wanted to work at [basketball] or whatever I was doing. Not being good always bothered me. It drove me to become a better player.”
Chamblee coach Paul Ireland has seen the potential in Camp for years. She has started for the Bulldogs since her freshman season.
“I always knew she was going to play college ball, I just didn’t know at what level,” Ireland said. “She’s reached the top of the mountain—you can’t get much better than Stanford.”
Camp, a 5-foot-7 guard, will admit she’s far from perfect on the basketball court and that she’s a work in progress. Camp has drawn on a myriad of influences since she first suited up with the Georgia Metros AAU team as a 10-year-old.
The storied Atlanta-based AAU program recently has produced some of the top college basketball talent in the country. Metros alumnae include Maya Moore, the top college player in the nation at Connecticut; St. Pius graduate Kelly Cain, who is a standout at Tennessee; and Ashley Houts, an all-American at Georgia who is now in the WNBA.
“I saw how they set a standard for their teams [on the AAU level],” Camp said, “how they pick everybody up, see everything on the floor. Since I was 10 years old I wanted to be like [Moore]. I learned to appreciate the details and see the little things they did in practice.”
Over the years, Camp has made a habit of studying the talents of numerous players and incorporating some of their skill sets into her own game.
“I just want to get better at everything,” Camp said. “There’s so much more to learn. I like to take bits and pieces of everybody’s game and use it to make myself better.”
Camp has the ability to be a big-time scorer, but it is the development of her understanding of the game that has made an impression on Ireland. Camp has been a team leader for the past two seasons, Ireland said.
“It’s a combination of things,” Ireland said. “The way she handles the ball, she shoots well and plays smart defense. She’s the whole package.”
Camp switches between off guard and point guard for Chamblee, but is projected more as a point guard on the college level. Her transition to becoming a leader both at Chamblee and for the Metros coincides with her development as a point guard.
“In AAU I focused on being a point guard and it’s a totally different role and responsibility,” Camp said. “I have to direct the team and I’m becoming more of a leader.”
Ireland also has seen Camp grow into that role in high school. She is averaging approximately 13 points per game and is shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. Camp also is one of the leaders in the county in assists and steals.
“She’s a leader by example,” Ireland said. “She does everything she’s supposed to do and the others feed off of it.”
But make no mistake. Camp isn’t through learning and developing as a player and a person. Camp said she would like to be a sports physician and is considering studying kinesiology or human biology at Stanford.
Getting complacent is something she’s not comfortable with.
“I just want to get better at everything; there’s so many things to learn,” Camp said. “I never want to feel like I’m settling for less.”
With an endless appetite for learning on and off the basketball court, there’s little chance of that.