By the numbers, Pitman High senior point guard Jasmine Washington scored in double digits in all but one game during last season’s girls basketball campaign against mostly Division I competition. Four of those times, she scored at least 31 points.
Her numbers helped the Pride to a postseason berth and a second-place finish behind Turlock High. But after the high school season ended, Washington, considered one of the top players in the Stanislaus District, did not have a college scholarship.
“I was really scared,” she said.
But thanks in large part to the Pitman’s junior varsity coach, Annie Ritsick, Washington is now a college-bound athlete. Last week, she signed her letter of intent to play for Cal State L.A., deflecting interests from other schools and helping put aside missing out on Sacramento State. In the latter scenario, Washington said the paperwork was never completed in time, eventually causing her to fret over her post-high school decisions.
“At the end of the season, if there were no more games, no one can watch me play,” she said. “I was scared that I had to play in these showcases to get coaches to notice me and hope someone picks me up.”
Enter Ritsick, who contacted coaches and sent videotapes of Washington to their respective colleges. It helped Washington gain interest from San Francisco State and Cal State San Bernardino, which, she said, was close to offering but never went for an official visit.
“I just fell in love with L.A.,” she said during her visit to the Cal State L.A. campus in late-March.
The trip ended with a scholarship offer.
Her father, Eddie Washington, felt thankful as well, saying, “I’m super happy. I’m relieved. Like that movie ‘Waiting to Exhale,’ I’m finally exhaling. I’ve been waiting for a scholarship since she was born. I wanted a scholarship myself but I never had the academics.”
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