Basketball Star Player Jasmine Kearse Returns to West Augustine to Give Back to the Community


Jasmine Kearse giving away backpacks and school supplies in West Augustine


West Augustine's own Jasmine Kearse returned home this weekend to give back to the community, where she grew up through a back-to-school backpack and school-supply giveaway at the local Calvin Peete Park also know as the Collier-Blocker-Puryear Park in West Augustine. "The community supported me through everything, and I wanted to give that support to the younger generation," Kearse said.

Once the word spread that Jasmine Kearse was at the park with free school supplies, kids came running and riding their bikes from all over the neighborhood to get a free backpack filled with school supplies, while parents and grandparents showed up thankful to cross a few things off the back-to-school supply lists.

Kearse, a R.J. Murray Middle School alum went on to become a star basketball player at St. Augustine High School, where she was named  player of the year in 2013. Her hard work on and off the court catapulted her to a full-ride scholarship at Limestone College in South Carolina. 

Not only did Kearse's years at the Limestone Saints bring her the title of All-American, but after graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management, she went on to play professional basketball in Europe for the K.B. Penza women's basketball team. 

After returning home, Kearse received her masters degree in Sports Administration and Leadership from Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia, where she also worked as a graduate assistant and led the program's community service efforts. 

At only 26, Kearse is now an assistant women's basketball coach at Coker University in Hartsville, South Carolina, and her favorite part of the job is "teaching the kids what I know to help them get to the level that I was able to reach."

When asked what tips she has for any student in our community, who wishes to have a career in basketball/athletics, Kearse says: "You just have to make sure to have the right people around you, and just work really hard. Have those people who support you, like I had, when I was growing up. Those people who want to see you get better, they'll work with you. And also work hard at school."

Kearse's list of people supporting and inspiring her is long, and she points to coach Eric Hancock, who was at the community event supporting her efforts. "Oh man, you see that man over there. He was my AAU Coach - my travel team coach," she says expressing her gratitude to the current girl's varsity basketball head coach at St. Augustine High School. About the support she received growing up, she says that "there are so many people, I cannot even name them — my mom, my grandparents, my family, my friends and the community."

When it comes to college and career tips for the West Augustine youth, Kearse says: "You can't do sports without school. I want to emphasize that. A lot of kids see the success on the field or on the court, but it all starts in the classroom. Once you can get that done, your limits with working hard, it will pay off on the court or on the field."

"I wanted to venture out - not be too close to home, but far enough," Kearse says about choosing Limestone University after graduating from high school. "The coaches there and the players, my teammates, they made it feel like home, and I got a basketball scholarship — a full ride."

About the future she says "I want to coach for some years ... and then eventually start my own team or training facility. I'd love to have it at home, but I'll have to see what opportunities I have here to do that." 


Follow Jasmine Kearse on Facebook and on Instagram to see how she continues to succeed and inspire all while giving back to our West Augustine community. 

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