Original Article from the Geelong Advertiser can be found HERE
Feature Photo: Jacqui Neill
IT’S school first, basketball second for talented young Supercats player Jasmine Whatley as
she juggles NBL1 commitments and completing her VCE at Western Heights this year.
While many players of her calibre are considering US College pathways to further their
basketball careers, Whatley has her eyes firmly set on studying medicine in Australia next
year, with hopes of cracking on WNBL development spot in the future.
Elevated to the NBL1 roster this year after playing Youth League with the Supercats in 2019,
Whatley is grateful for the support of her coaches and team in prioritising her school workload.
“Everyone at Geelong, with Matt (Paton) and the girls, and at Western Heights where Herbie is the head of basketball, they are all so good,” Whatley said.
“They know that school comes first, and basketball comes second. So, any time I have a big test or exam, they know I might need to not come to training or play in order to prioritise that.
“It’s really helpful when everyone is on your side and helping you achieve whatever goals
Whatley’s commitment to her studies is matched by her basketball prowess, her
achievements so far a laundry list of state and national selections.
Although 2020 tournaments were ultimately cancelled, Whatley was selected for the under-18 Vic Country state team last year, before getting her opportunity to play for Vic Country in the Under 20 team earlier this year at the National Championships.
She has also been selected in an extended squad for the Under 19 Gems national team, with the Under 19 World Cup scheduled to be held late in 2021, Covid restrictions pending.
Closer to home, Whatley has been relishing her role in senior basketball as part of the NBL1
Geelong Supercats roster this year.
“It’s been great – all the girls have been amazing,” Whatley said.
“The whole transition of being someone who sat on the bench and might have got a couple of
minutes in an NBL1 game, to actually stepping up, playing big minutes, people counting on
you to play well – it’s just been fantastic. I’m just embracing the opportunity.”
Averaging 4.75 rebounds off the bench in the NBL1 season so far, Whatley is providing that
extra defensive size in a guard heavy rotation for Geelong this year.
After having to sit out the past few games due to concussion protocol, Whatley is eager to
get back on the court with the Supercats, however her return to play will be postponed
following the announcement of Victoria’s statewide seven-day lockdown yesterday.
“After coming so close to an undefeated team in the league last week when we didn’t even
have our full roster, we’re just so eager to prove to everyone that we are a competitive
team and people should notice that we can come to play,” she said.