Jasmine Black never had it easy playing basketball.
It started many years ago for the versatile Fresno City College sophomore when her father, Redwood High girls basketball coach Jason Black, took her daily to Longfield Center in Hanford and told her to put up 500 shots.
He would often get on his daughter and tell her what she was doing wrong.
Black couldn’t understand why her father kept pushing her.
“It was so hard to find a partner to shoot with and rebound, and so my dad was always pushing me,” said Black, who was named the Central Valley Conference MVP and will lead the No. 2 Rams against visiting No. 18 Skyline at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the NorCal Regional. “I always used to tell my mom, ‘He gets on me so tough.’ ... It was like an emotional breakdown, and now I think about it, it was just to help me in the real world.”
Black played for her father in sixth grade on a high school summer league team and later at Redwood High.
“He gets on her pretty good,” Rams coach Brian Tessler said. “She’s mentioned that to me that her dad sometimes views her as a player. But when her dad talks to me, it’s different. When I texted him to tell him she was MVP of the conference, he thanked me and told me how proud he is of her and how much she’s grown. I don’t think it’s easy to coach a kid because you have to know when to turn it on and turn it off.”
Jason Black said he wanted her to prepare for the next level and “to understand that other coaches were going to be demanding of her.”
“They would see her talent and expect that from her each game,” he said. “I wanted her to understand that being told yes all the time wasn’t going to make her mentally tough.”
Message received, and Black understands what her father has been teaching her since she picked up a basketball at 4 years old. Black is averaging 8.2 points per game while playing small forward and point guard. She led the Rams to a 26-3 overall record and a 12-0 mark in conference play.
“I don’t know if there’s anyone in the league who is as versatile as her that can play as many positions,” Tessler said. “She’s done a great job, and she deserves it (the MVP). I wouldn’t have put her up if she wasn’t deserving.”
Jason Black echoed Tessler’s thoughts and explained that’s the reason he made her shoot so many times in that gym years ago, to add a jump shot to her game.
Black sees it as “tough love” and realizes why her dad was tough on her.
“I go home crying to my mom and ask, ‘Why is he like that? Why does he take out his anger from the girls on me?’ ” she said. “But it was showing me at some point in time I’m going to have to be a role player on a team, and I have to lead the team, and that’s what I have to do, and I think all those skills and going home and getting yelled at and having bad games … that’s what came back and helped me become the player I am today.”
NO. 2 FRESNO CITY VS. NO. 18 SKYLINE
- Saturday: 5:30 p.m. at the Rams’ gym
- Records: Rams 26-3, Trojans 18-11
- Last meeting: Fresno City defeated Skyline 98-85 on Dec. 12