Joslynn Basemore on Thursday was asked if she’s getting the respect she deserves as a Memphis-area high school basketball player.
She didn’t hold back.
“The respect I’m getting, I deserve it,” Basemore, a rising senior standout for Manassas High, told sports journalist Andre Johnson. “I will say I am respected, but can be taken for granted or overlooked because of where I attend school.”
Shortly, thereafter, Basemore wasted little time being forthright about where she ranks amongst Shelby-Metro’s finest prep girls basketball players.
“I truly believe I am the best player in the Shelby-Metro area,” Basemore said with a straight face. “My outlook on my final prep season is that it will be a success, because I will work even harder to make sure that my team and I am not overlooked because of our location. This season is the beginning of my new life.”
Some pretty dauntless words from a player who, although her school is based in the inner city — in the heart of North Memphis to be exact — appears destined to head into this, her final prep season, with a chip on her shoulder.
According to many who have followed Basemore’s rise as arguably one of the best basketball players in the history of Manassas High, she has every right to embark upon the 2015-16 season harboring some newfound swagger.
For starters, Basemore has yet to field official scholarship offers from any colleges, although she has garnered letters of interest from a few Division 1 mid-major schools, most notably Georgia State and Austin Peay State.
Add to the fact that this speedy, 5-foot-4 standout has built a reputation as one of the most prolific scorers on the local high school hoops circuit in recent years, and it’s no wonder she’s clinging to lofty expectations of picking up where she left off last year.
That, after all, is what appears to be so scary for opposing players who will have the brutal task of squaring off against Basemore in what she deems as a “life-changing” season, of sorts, this year.
“I personally feel as if I don’t have a quitting spirit when things become a little complicated,” explains Basemore, when asked what is it she’d like college scouts and recruiters to know about her. “Most importantly, I am coachable, hard-working, dedicated, and a team player who puts God first. Through Him, Who strengthens me, I can do all things no matter what the task may be.”
Last year, Basemore — though she often faced a size disadvantage against the opposition — was relied upon heavily to score early and often for a Manassas team that finished with a 14-10 mark.
Having averaged a team-best 22.5 points per game, Basemore made a strong case that she has the smarts and skills to play at the collegiate level, especially in what turned out to be the Lady Tigers’ final game of the season.
In a 90-84 overtime loss to neighborhood rival Trezevant, Basemore caught fire and drew rave reviews from a standing-room-only crowd when she scored a career-high 46 points, a feat that surpassed her 43-point outburst against Craigmont days prior.
In addition, Basemore led the team in other statistical categories as a junior, including assists (4.7), rebounds (5.3), and steals (4.7) — a solid resume for a player who boasts high expectations of putting her immense skills on display in a college uniform sometime next year.
Basemore also was the Lady Tigers’ top scorer as a sophomore, averaging 20.4 points, including eight 20-plus point games in 25 starts.
“She started playing basketball when she was in the second grade,” said Basemore’s mother, Michelle Basemore. “I thought about basketball being a way for her to go to college paid for in conjunction to her getting a scholarship based on her GPA, which has always been a 4.0 or higher. Basketball, to me, was the way out, especially with me being a single mother and doing it all on my own.”
Besides emerging as Manassas’ featured player, Joslynn Basemore — who’s also gotten strong support from her father, Daren Peterson — has been a fixture on the AAU circuit in recent years, most notably for the Tennessee Glory. Fortunately for her, she has been afforded to play the games she loves in a number of establishments around the country, including Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri, among others.
As she prepares for what figures to be a banner season, Joslynn Basemore said her primary objective is to add to what has shaped up to be solid resume on and off the court.
Especially on the court.
“Basketball is something that I can’t really explain, but what I can say is that I have a sincere passion for the game,” Joslynn Basemore said. Plus, I look at basketball as another way of learning life experiences. My ultimate dream is to pursue a career in basketball, one day playing for the WNBA.”
Some pretty bold words from a player, one who’s finally getting the respect she deserves.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.