By Sean Dunlap
Franklin County varsity basketball player JaSharreah Hunt got a welcome surprise during the Friday, Jan. 8 district contest against Wilkinson County at home.
The junior guard was recognized for surpassing 1,500 career points while playing for the Lady Bulldogs — an accomplishment Hunt really didn’t think about until her name was called.
“I was very surprised because I hadn’t really focused on it,” Hunt said with a wide smile following practice on Monday afternoon. “I enjoy playing and being a part of this team, everything else takes care of itself.”
Head Coach Rickey Van O’Quinn, Assistant Coach Ashley Weathersby Barnes and the Lady Bulldogs presented Hunt with a commemorative signed basketball to mark her scoring milestone.
“(The presentation) meant a lot to me because it reminds me how important it is to work and play hard, and to give it your all whether that is in practice or during a game,” she added.
Hunt’s tenacity and drive have earned her a reputation of being one of the best guards in Class 3A basketball and across the state in general.
In the past week, she was also selected to play in the 2021 Mississippi Sports Medicine North-South Junior All-Star Basketball Games set for March.
Hunt, who has played with the Lady Dawgs since eighth grade, said she wants to keep growing in the sport she loves in hopes it will lead to bigger opportunities.
“I want to play at the professional level,” she said. “Right now, I’m not sure about where I might want to go to college, but basketball will be a big part of the decision process for me.”
Hunt got involved in AAU basketball while she was in the sixth grade, and has played a great deal of off-season travel ball through the years along with her time on the court at Franklin County High School.
“I also spent a great deal of time going to play at the park with the older kids, and I learned a lot about being competitive there and from all the time I’ve spent in the game,” she continued.
Outside of competition, Hunt finds the sports to be theraputic.
“If there’s a lot on my mind, I can go out on the court and it all goes away,” she said. “Basketball helps me to relax and just be myself.”
O’Quinn characterizes Hunt as a top-level competitor who has a keen awareness of everything going on around her.
“That’s why she’s one of the best guards in the state,” O’Quinn said. “Having watched her grow as a player since the eighth grade has been rewarding. You could see there was something special there, and she lives up to those expectations.
“JaSharreah’s drive and commitment make her who she is — excelling not only on the basketball court, but also in the classroom as an outstanding student.”
Hunt, a resident of the Roxie community of Franklin County, said she greatly appreciates the support and love she gets from her mother, April, and her 23-year-old sister, Jada, in playing and in life.