Jefferson adds commanding presence to Griffons

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LaQuinta Jefferson is one of those all-around talents.

She gives such a commanding presence on the court that it’s no wonder she has several honors under her belt.

“I’ve been playing basketball since I was eight years old,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson hails from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she attended La Vergne High School.

She was a three-year starter for the LHS Wolverines. She was ranked the No. 64 high school prospect in the country for ESPN Hoop Gurlz for the Class of 2010. Jefferson was named as a Tennessee Sports Writers’ Association All-State recipient in 2009. She averaged 17.1 points her junior season at La Vergne.

“I love the competitiveness about it and I love to win,” Jefferson said.

She went on to attend Jefferson College. As a sophomore, she had a team-high 17.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.9 steals per game. The Lady Vikings went on to be 31-5 overall, including an appearance in the National Junior College Tournament and No. 7 national ranking. She helped clinch the Lady Vikings’ playoff berth with a 38-point performance.

At Jefferson College, she received NJCAA All-Tournament Team honors and was named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association Junior College All-American team. She was one of three finalists for WBCA National Junior College Player of the Year.

Jefferson is now a junior transfer for Western, where she has been making an impact for the team since day one.

Western held their exhibition game in November against the University of Missouri. Jefferson scored 40 points, which helped keep the Griffons in the game against the Tigers.

Since that first game, she has started all but one game. She repeated her 40-point performance at Nebraska-Kearney. Jefferson is averaging 20.2 points per game and has accumulated 363 total so far this season. She’s averaging 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

Before she heads onto the court, Jefferson doesn’t necessarily put herself into any mindset. She just want to play like LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

“I try to go in Kobe-mode,” Jefferson said. “I don’t really know how to explain it, because, he’s just my favorite player. I try to play like him.”

Head coach Rob Edmisson knows that she’s a great player, but he’s aware that she has lots of improving left to do.

“She’s got to learn to defend and rebound better,” Edmisson said. “Once she does that, then she’ll become a complete player. She’s got one end of the floor mastered, but until you master both ends of the floor, you’re not a great player. KD [Kevin Durant] and Kobe, they’re great on both ends.”

In her spare time, Jefferson loves to play music. She can play bass, guitar and drums.

“I actually play music,” Jefferson said. “My family is musical. [We’re] sporty and musical put together.”

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