NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Freshman Jasmine Brandon came to the College of New Rochelle wanting to be a basketball starter, and she's done that and more.
The Association of Division III Independent Schools has just named Brandon its Student-Athlete of the Month for November.
Brandon, who averaged 14.2 points and 10 rebounds a game in November and is leading the team with 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds a game on the season, said she was pleased to receive the award.
“My mom has been hard on me when it comes to my academics,” Brandon said. “She has always told me that my schoolwork and grades come first. She said that I could break a bone or get hurt, but I will always have my education to fall back on.
“The main thing that kept me focused is that I want to be a good student also, as well as being a good basketball player.”
Brandon is only the second CNR student-athlete to receive this honor. Ruchelle Austin was the December 2007 recipient.
Brandon came into preseason hoping to earn playing time. As the team prepared for its opener, Brandon received good news.
“I didn’t even think I was going to start,” said Brandon, a graduate of St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, N.J. “I didn’t know I was starting until the coach told me to sit on the bench with the other starters. My heart was pumping.”
Following the game, Brandon immediately called her two younger brothers, who are 16 and 14 and play for St. Anthony’s.
“They were always asking me if I was going to start,” Brandon said. “They, along with my mom, were the first ones I called after the game. They were so excited and happy for me and I know they are all very proud of me.”