Jasha Clinton earns her stripes on the defensive end of the court.
The freshman guard averaged three steals a game during her senior year at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and she plans to have a similar impact on the Temple University women’s basketball team this season, she said.
“She’s fast, super fast, and her hands are quick, she very rarely gets in foul trouble, but she gets a lot of picks,” said Darnell Dozier, Clinton’s high school head coach.
Clinton, who won the 2019-20 Gatorade Virginia Girls Basketball Player of the Year award, which recognizes athletic and academic achievement, is practicing with the Owls for their upcoming season, which has not been announced yet.
American Athletic Conference play can begin as early as Dec. 14, The Temple News reported.
Clinton is ready for the new collegiate level challenge after finishing with a record of 80-4 in high school, and she expects to play a key role this season, she said.
“[Princess Anne High School] got boring, you winning all the time, you don’t have any competition, it’s not fun,” Clinton added. “Here, even if you win or lose, you’re going to learn from it.”
Last season, in 25 games, Clinton averaged 14.5 points, 4.8 assists, 3.9 steals and 2.7 rebounds per game for Princess Anne High School. Clinton also won three straight state championships in high school.
Like Dozier, Temple women’s basketball head coach Tonya Cardoza raved about Clinton’s defensive intensity and the swagger in her “on-the-court persona.”
“She had an arrogance about her,” Cardoza said. “She doesn’t lack confidence, and I like that. She’s going to work at trying to be the best, and she wants to challenge the best, play against the best, defend the best. She’s not gonna shy away because she oozes confidence.”
Even though Clinton’s strength is defense, she’s been competitive in shooting drills, earning her a key rotation spot, Cardoza said.
“She’s definitely in the rotation,” Cardoza added. “She’s someone that gets a lot of reps in practice. So she’s going to be playing on the ball, off the ball, but she’s definitely going to be playing, and she’s going to be playing a lot for us.”
Cardoza discovered Clinton in the Amateur Athletic Union circuit playing for the Boo Williams AAU team in Virginia. Cardoza was familiar with recruiting in the area because that’s where she recruited former Temple star Feyonda Fitzgerald, who played for the Owls from 2014-17. She’s also from Virginia and played on the Williams’ team, Cardoza said.
Owls’ associate head coach Way Veney, who is from Virginia, also helped recruit Clinton to Temple.
Cardoza believes Clinton slipped “under the radar” because she was not heavily recruited, despite the success her teams achieved, Cardoza said.
After her senior season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Clinton is eager to play in a game again, she said.
“I just want to actually play,” Clinton added. “I feel like I’m going to be nervous in the first game. After that, I’m going to be warmed up and ready.”