Gary Hardamon | Northwestern State photographic services — Northwestern State’s Jasmine Upchurch looks to pass the ball during their game against Prairie View A&M this past season.
Gary Hardamon | Northwestern State photographic services — Northwestern State’s Jasmine Upchurch looks to pass the ball during their game against Prairie View A&M this past season.

Archived Story

Former Ferriday player says basketball will always be a part of her

Published 12:01am Tuesday, May 28, 2013

By Reina Kempt

FERRIDAY – Jasmine Upchurch has been playing basketball her whole life and with her college career now over, basketball is still on her mind.

Upchurch played basketball for Ferriday High School under her mother, head coach Lisa Abron.

With her mother being her coach, Upchurch’s love for basketball was something special.

“I played ball all my life,” Upchurch said. “That’s the only sport I wanted to play in high school.”

In high school she played every position, and as a 6’2” athlete, that would impress any college coach.

And she caught the attention of many college coaches, as she was offered several scholarships.

“I had a couple of offers, but I picked Northwestern (State) because it was closer to home and it had a family-like environment,” she said.

As Upchurch transitioned into a Northwestern State Lady Demon, some things needed to be tweaked before she could make an impact.

“As a freshman, I didn’t play as much but I continued to work hard, and I learned a lot (before I started to play),” Upchurch said.

In her senior year at Northwestern, Upchurch was the leading scorer on the team averaging 12.3 points per game and six rebounds. She also had 30 blocks on the season as the starting center.

But her final year did not come without any obstacles, as she suffered an injury that forced her to miss a week and a half of the season.

She was elbowed by her own teammate in practice, which knocked her front tooth out of socket. Once Upchurch returned to practice, she had a lot of catching up to do to remain the leader on the floor.

But she returned in full force, as she scored 19 points and 10 rebounds in an upset victory against McNeese State.

Upchurch helped lead the Lady Demons to their first postseason appearance in two years.

Her season ended in a gut-wrenching loss to the two-time defending champions Nicholls State 63-45 in the first round of the 2013 Southland Conference Tournament.

Upchurch scored eight points in her final game and recorded 853 points and 505 rebounds in her college career.

As the only senior for the Lady Demons, she graduated from Northwestern with a bachelor’s in psychology.

Now with her college career over, Upchurch said she’s not sure about what she will do next, but she says basketball will be a part of her future.

“I might get my master’s in counseling or I might just coach basketball,” Upchurch said.

Whatever Upchurch decides to do, she said her passion and love for basketball will never change.