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Saturday, May 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

McGhee's talent goes beyond basketball

The moral lesson “don’t judge a book by its cover” could easily apply to junior guard Jasmine McGhee.

On the outside, she is just another student athlete representing the University and playing for the women’s basketball team. She is the starting shooting guard this season and averages 11.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

But on the inside, McGhee is a self-trained musician who has a passion for playing, writing and listening to music.

Both the passion for basketball and music started at an early age. As she grew up in a musically inclined family, it was easy for her to pick up a taste for music.

Her father is a pastor in Anderson, Ind., where she was raised. She never had traditional music lessons, but she learned from her relatives.

Jasmine said her uncle was one of her musical inspirations.

“I started around 8 (years old). My uncle taught me some basic things on the piano,” McGhee said.

As she grew older, she not only became better at piano, but also learned other instruments. When McGhee was 11, her brother taught her how to
play drums.

Never really having lessons or classes, McGhee said she practiced and constantly played to get better. Her father’s church was her place to perform in front
of an audience.

“I grew up in a church,” McGhee said. “I just love to listen to a lot of gospel
music.”

Some of her teammates said she tells them about growing up singing gospel music.

“She told me that she played piano at her father’s church,” junior forward Aulani Sinclair said.

The experience of practicing and performing in front of others really helped improve her musical abilities, McGhee said.

McGhee played basketball at an early age, as well. Basketball has always been one of her main loves in life, she said.

McGhee played basketball at Anderson High School. After completing her high school career, the 5-foot-11-inch guard played two years at Vincennes University.

In those two years, she built herself into one of the top junior college players.

She was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Junior College Player of the Year.

As a sophomore, McGhee averaged 16.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game and was ranked as the No. 2 junior college prospect in the country by the All-Star Girls Report.
She committed to Indiana as a member of the Hoosiers’ 2011 recruiting class that All-Star Girls Report ranked 23rd in the country.

While at Indiana, her teammates have witnessed her musical passion. One time, she played the piano and sang at a restaurant while the team was waiting for a table.

“Everyone was really surprised,” Sinclair said. “Jaz is the best musician on the team.”
McGhee said they were impressed with her talents.

“They were pretty amazed that I played the piano so well,” she said.

McGhee sometimes performs at her house, as well, Sinclair said. Her musical abilities have grown to where she can play songs on any instrument after she listens to the song a few times, she said.

“When I listen to songs, I can learn to play that song in the next few days,” she said.
Currently, she is taking one music class at IU: World Music and Culture.

Basketball and music have been important in McGhee’s life, she said, and she would do either professionally.

“If I get a chance, I’d like to be a songwriter or play the piano professionally,” she said.

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