Jasmine Walker hasn’t forgotten the public scolding, but she’s used it in a good way.
Last month, Jeff Davis coach LaKenya Knight called out Walker, her sophomore star, for a lack of aggressiveness, saying that if Walker remained passive, it would signal “wasted talent.”
Walker, in JD’s three playoff wins, has laid waste to only the Vols’ foes.
Walker, after leading JD to a 62-46 win over Central-Phenix City in Thursday’s Class 6A subregional, has scored at least 20 points in all three postseason games.
More importantly, the laid-back, ho-hum, settle-for-a-jumpshot style that inspired Knight’s ire, has disappeared.
“What she said stung, but I needed to be more aggressive,” Walker said. “She got on me pretty good, but that’s what coaches do, and Coach Knight is a pretty good coach.”
Walker scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting Thursday. In three playoff games, she’s shooting 57 percent.
“She’s way more aggressive,” point guard Ahyiona Vason said. “Sometimes, we don’t have to tell her to get in the post.
“But she can play even better than that. She can be way more aggressive.”
Knight said she’s been amazed at Walker’s progress. Her potential had major college coaches showing up last year when Walker was a freshman. Now, Walker is showing results.
“It’s unbelievable,” Knight said. “It’s like she’s a whole different player. These last few games, she has been.”
Can she keep it up? The Vols (22-6) will make their 10th straight regional appearance at 9 a.m. Wednesday when they face Oak Mountain in the Central Regional semifinals at Alabama State.
“We’re keeping a tradition going,” Walker said. “Everybody always tells us that they expect us to go, and I know how they feel.
“They want to get out of school and come see us play.”
Vason added 12 points Thursday, while Brandi Whelton and Kayla Jackson scored 10 each.
Zakoria Hickson’s 15 points led the Red Devils (17-8), who shot 29 percent.