Beach sports – Double Threat Jasmine Davis
by Randy Angel
Redondo Union senior Jasmine Davis helped her team win the State Championship in basketball last year, and hopes to do so again this year. But first, she hopes to bring home a State Championship in volleyball
Currently, Redondo’s girls volleyball team is ranked No. 2 in the nation in two separate polls, behind Assumption of Kentucky, who handed the Sea Hawks one of their two losses this season in the finals of the prestigious 64-team Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas.
The six-foot-1 Davis joined teammates Nalani Iosia and Kami Miner as repeat members of the Durango All-Tournament team.
She feels making the move from middle blocker to outside hitter prior to her junior year has let her take full advantage of her athletic skills.
“People always told me I had the skill to play outside and I was very athletic,” Davis said. “I got the opportunity to show coach Tommy Chaffins I could play the position. I wanted to be an all around player on the court as I am such a competitor. I love killing the ball, talking to libero Nalani Iosia and serving, which makes me feel special.
“Tommy really helped me. He believed in me and I thank him for the opportunity to switch positions. Assistant coach Tiffany Rodriguez also helps me a lot.”
Her mother Tamala also played basketball and volleyball. Her father Peter played basketball at Michigan State and the New York Knicks.
“I don’t always like their criticism but realize it will make me stronger,” Davis said. “It’s a blessing to have them as parents They inspire me so much.”
When she was 14 years old, Jasmine was was introduced to volleyball by her mom. She fell in love with the game and made her middle school team.
“I began playing club volleyball and had some great coaches and gained valuable experience,” she said.
During her sophomore year, Davis played beach volleyball. She found it helped her with the indoor game, particularly her passing, while supplying a productive workout on the sand.
“Jasmine has the unique skill of having her competitiveness rub off on her teammates,” Chaffins said. “Earlier this year, we were winning a match rather comfortably, and I only took Jaz out. Tiffany Rodriguez (my assistant) immediately recognized the drop off on our team’s play. This was a trend and now we know we can basically never take Jasmine off the court. Jasmine has what we like to call competitive greatness. She competes just as hard in our practices as she does when we play Mira Costa in front of 1,000 fans.”
Despite her competitive demeanor on the court, Davis is extremely respectful to her teachers, coaches and staff.
“It is a complement to her parents, who want their kids to be great off the court as well,” Chaffins said. “Jasmine is a wonderful ambassador for all things RUHS. Our school and community is so much better off having Jasmine Davis being a Sea Hawk. She is going to accomplish some special things in this world, I just know it.”
Davis feels that her teammates are a community and family, who are helping her reach her goals of playing college volleyball and possibly professionally.
Seeking a repeat
With 12 returners from last season’s State championship basketball team, Redondo is seeking its second straight CIF and State girls title..
The Sea Hawks lost only three players to graduation. Returning are Division 2AA Most Valuable Player Alyssa Munn, first team selection Dylan Horton and Coach of the Year Marcelo Enriquez. Davis was an All-CIF Division 1-AA member as a sophomore.
In last season’s CIF final, Davis scored eight points and had a team-leading 13 rebounds as Redondo defeated Lynwood 55-43 at Colony High School in Ontario.
“Playing basketball at Redondo has been magical,” Davis said. “We won CIF and then Redondo’s first State Championship, beating Pleasant Valley 57-42. We played on a WNBA court (Golden 1 Center in Sacramento). The competition was tough but I deeply respect head coach Marcelo Enriquez and coach Lynn Flanagan. We became part of Redondo history.”
Davis recognizes the difficulty of repeating because the team will have a bullseye on its back. Redondo has also moved up to Division 1 this season.
“I believe we’re capable of doing something great again but this time teams will take us seriously,” Davis said. “We had a ball last year and the teammates were my family. This season all of our returners are healthy. We’re competitive and a winner and feel we can do it. I’d like to build up my speed on the court, which would really help a lot.”
Davis realizes the chemistry will be different this season despite the numerous returning players.
“Hanging out together for things like movie night, bowling and dinners helps,” Davis explained. “The long bus rides also help. We’ll need strong senior leadership and to always stay positive. This will be my fourth year on the team so I’m already a leader but would like to become more vocal.”
Enriquez believes Davis’ natural leadership abilities makes her a special basketball player.
“She is very vocal and always positive with her teammates,” Enriquez said. “Jasmine also is not afraid of taking the ‘big shot’ for her team. She will not shy away from pressure situations.”
“Jasmine is easy to talk to,” Enriquez explained. “She is always happy and excited about practice. But when it’s time to go to work, Jasmine can flip the switch immediately to her game face.
“I believe that Jasmine is going to have an amazing season. You can just tell that she has some business to tend to. What that is, I’m not sure but I like her demeanor. The sky’s the limit for Jasmine Davis and her teammates this year. I’m glad that I’m coaching her and not against her.”
Pursuing a college career
“High school has been a blast,” Davis said. “I have great memories and will miss everything about Redondo. My family has been my salvation. When my body is aching or I’ve had a bad day at school, they help me get over it. My parents have so much knowledge and are right there for me.”
Davis has had offers to play volleyball at San Diego State, UC San Diego and in the West Coast Conference. As a basketball player, she has had interest from Cal Poly Pomona and some from the PAC 12.
“Being a two-sport athlete is kind of hard because college coaches want you to decide on one or the other,” Davis said.
Her parents have stressed the importance of a college education. Davis plans to major in mathematics.
“I want to do well academically and have a high GPA,” Davis said. “I’d like to get my Masters and then a PhD so people will have to call me ‘Doctor.’ I love to teach and would like to become a college professor while helping out the (basketball and volleyball) coaches.”
Davis said her third grade teacher, Mrs. Engoy, had a large impact on her life.
“She was so was full of life,” Davis recalls. “She was a wonderful Christian and would sing in the choir. At lunch, she would teach us fractions when we were eating slices of pizza or apples.”
Davis is hopeful that she can make make a similar impression on and off the court.’
by Randy Angel