Sophomore named one of the top forwards in NE-10 Conference
Bobby Martinez – Sports Writer
A once cheerleader who converted into a dominant low-post scorer for the Owls women’s basketball team, Jackie Beathea, made it her goal to work hard each and every day since the summer of her sophomore year in high school to be a very good basketball player at both, the high school and collegiate level.
Beathea, at first, said when she picked up a basketball, she wasn’t very good, but as she had gotten much taller and started to discipline herself even more, she would wake up each morning and practice where in not time, the results started to show on the court.
“I started to workout really hard,” said Beathea. “I started to wake up each and every morning, by myself, to go to the courts to shoot and do all these different types of moves I had seen on the T.V. I got better and stronger and here I am today.”
In her junior year at Annandale High School, Beathea’s play on the court resulted into recruitment letters from numerous colleges, Southern was one of them. Beathea said the reason she chose Southern was because she liked the energy of the team and also former coach Meghan Brown.
But Southern wasn’t her first choice. Beathea at first committed to Longwood University in VA., a D-1 school. She said the reason she de-committed from Longwood and chose Southern, was because D-I schools and D-II schools have different level of grade point average requirement.
The transition from high school basketball to college was pretty hard she said. However, as time went on and the more help Brown provided for Beathea, has transitioned Beathea into one of the top forwards in the NE-10 Conference.
Beathea’s tenacious rebounding on both sides of the ball and also her low-post game, has helped her team turn around the women’s basketball program this season under new head coach Bert DeSalvo. With a record of 10-7 and 7-2 in the NE-10, Beathea is averaging 14.6 points a game and 12.4 rebounds a game.
“It was really hard at first because I wasn’t really prepared,” she said. “You know, everyone thinks they know what to prepare for but they really don’t until they actually get into it.”
Despite numerous obstacles Beathea had to overcome to be where she is at today in her basketball career, her love for the game of basketball is what motivates her each and every day, especially this season she said.
“Just the success that my team can have, especially this team, really motivates me to do better,” said Beathea. “I know how far we can go and I want to make sure I can be the best athlete and be able to play with my team and help them get where we want to be. I got to do what I got to do because I know they are going to do what they got to do as a whole to be successful.”
As far as the relationship between Beathea and DeSalvo goes, Beathea said he is a very good coach who has helped her become a better player so far.
“Coach D has helped me a lot in continuing my transition from my junior year into my senior year by getting me ready for what’s to come,” said Beathea.
When it comes to Beathea’s future off the court, when she’s home in Washington D.C., she works as an Emergency medical technician (EMT) in which she said she really enjoys doing. She is currently majoring in social work where she wants to one day become a social worker.