Tuesday 16 January 2018

Military precision the key for Boone

Had Jazmen Boone not been in action for Liffey Celtics this season, she could have seen action in the US military instead. File image
Had Jazmen Boone not been in action for Liffey Celtics this season, she could have seen action in the US military instead. File image

Barry Lennon

Had Jazmen Boone not been in action for Liffey Celtics this season, she could have seen action in the US military instead.

Before earning her scholarship to study at WIT and play with Waterford Wildcats last year, the American (24) passed all her tests to enter the armed forces.

Boone's father, step-mother and mother are all in the navy, stationed in San Diego and Virginia, and she admits the family's military training has rubbed off.

"My parents are not the type to feel bad for you, they just say, 'find a solution'," Boone says. "Growing up it was tough because they had to leave the house by 5am. A lot of the time I had to get myself up to catch the bus to school."

Her father, who also coaches basketball, introduced her to the game and as a child she played with sailors on their lunch break in Virginia Beach's navy base.

With over 8,000 attending her high school's state championship games, the sport in Ireland often seems a world away.

"It is easier over here. But I wouldn't say it's a bad thing because in America it's a business and a lot of the girls lose a love for the game," Boone says.

"You're drilled into a role in the game instead of here where you are viewed as an all-round player. My shooting has got better here. In America, I had a coach that never wanted me to shoot."

Love

She found her love for the game again by the time she finished her studies in Global Finance Information Systems in the Déise.

"Waterford were taking on two new scholars so as much as I wanted to stay I couldn't. They (Liffey Celtics) showed interest in me," she said.

In return for her on-court services, the club found her a job in AIB in Ballsbridge and put her up in a house in Leixlip, shared with the team's other American player Emma O'Connor.

"Ireland is not that different but not exactly like home. It's great with Emma, we can bond over silly things we miss about home, like pancakes. They're really big in the States," she said.

The Kildare side are without the injured O'Connor for their DCU Mercy clash this evening at the Leixlip centre (7.30) where they've a chance to take second place, level with their opponents.

Boone will hope she can recreate past performances which helped her team make next week's National Cup final after she bagged 26 points in the semi.

Meanwhile, in the men's game league leaders Templeogue hope to keep on their unbeaten run against UCD Marian in the National Basketball Arena.

Irish Independent

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