Categorized | News, Sports

Millington’s ‘Best Ever’ has jersey retired, first female in school history

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Newsome player Retired jerseys Newsome Jersey retirementThe first female athlete in Millington Central High School history to have a jersey retired arrived shortly before 6 p.m.
The place Jasmine Newsome called her basketball home from 2006-10, the William Osteen Gymnasium, walked among the current MCHS student body without much fanfare. But once she opened the doors of back gym on Nov. 24, it was memory lane for Newsome.
She was greeted by past Lady Trojans teammates, her former teachers, longtime supporters and her prep coach Stan Gatlin.
For Newsome it was great to see so many faces from the past, but she was ready to get the ceremony of hanging her No. 22 into the museum of Trojan Athletics.
“I’m glad to get it over with and get it out of the way,” she said. “I know UT-Martin is going to do it too. It’s good to be recognized for the accomplishments you made during high school, the work you put in and the work your family put in. It’s about my family and me tonight.
“I wouldn’t have been where I was without my family, teammates, my coaches and the support,” Newsome continued. “It’s a big night for everybody. Not just me.”
Newsome shared the moment of having her jersey retired on the court with mother Trina, father Vincent Sr., and brothers Jerrick and Vincent Jr.
On that court and various locations across the Mid-South Newsome compiled an impressive resume’ as a Lady Trojan. She is the all-time leading scorer in school history with more than 2,000 points. She added more than 500 assists in her Millington career. In Newsome’s senior season, she was as Miss Tennessee Basketball finalist.
But Newsome was all about the team success during her time in black and gold. Millington reached Sub-State each season with Newsome.
She helped guide the Lady Trojans to the 2008 Class 3A State Championship game against Wilson Central. Newsome and that team was inducted into the MCHS Athletic Hall of Fame on the same night.
Newsome said it was fitting to have so many of her old teammates present for the jersey retirement.
“Without my teammates, I won’t be here,” she said. “State, I remember the feeling after we loss State. I remember as we go ready to be seniors, we loss Ashley (Robinson) and LaTesa (McLaughlin) my junior year. It’s just great to be back. A lot of memories in this gym. Everything just looks so different.”
Things changed in the William Osteen Gymnasium while Newsome was up at UT-Martin setting program and Ohio Valley Conference records in four years.
Newsome became the OVC’s second all-time scorer with 2,566 career points. She was twice named OVC Player of the Year while notching three Defensive Player of the Year awards. A four-time All-OVC first team selection, Newsome became the program’s first Associated Press All-American following her junior campaign. The University will soon retire her No. 12 at Martin.
Newsome had to break away from her busy schedule as a graduate assistant coach for UT-Martin’s staff under the direction of Kevin McMillan.
McMillan was inducted into the MCHS Hall of Fame last year and now both are enshrined. A few of those who gathered for the night to witness Newsome enter Hall of Fame and the jersey retirement said, ‘She was the best to ever play here.’
“It’s great to be back and hear things like that,” Newsome said. “But I don’t look at myself like that. I don’t want to walk around and people think I think I’m better than them. Without my family I wouldn’t be here.
“Especially my Dad, he put the ball in my hand,” she added. “He was in the gym pushing me around. Some days I hated him. Without Coach Gat, I wouldn’t have been able to play here. I started as a freshman. Most schools don’t do that. I was new to town, new to the school and some accepted me. I earned their respect.”
Newsome will forever be respected as one of the best to play sports at MCHS. Now the Millington Lady Trojan Basketball No. 22 will belong to her for the rest of time.
“I love the No. 22,” she concluded. “I’m glad I didn’t take it to college with me. I feel it should have stayed in high school with what I did in high school. The No. 12 had the same meaning to me as the No. 22. It’s a good number.”

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December 2015
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