Jackson Returns After Two-Year Hiatus
The guard transferred to George Mason after playing two seasons at Georgetown

FILE PHOTO: ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA Jackson averaged 4.2 points per game during her sophomore season in 2012-13.

Jackson averaged 4.2 points per game during her sophomore season in 2012-13.

Graduate student guard Jasmine Jackson will return to Georgetown this season to finish her NCAA eligibility as a Hoya after transferring to George Mason at the end of her sophomore year.

After leaving Georgetown, Jackson transferred to GMU, where she redshirted her junior year due to transfer rules. However, Jackson saw playing time in 28 of George Mason’s 30 games — starting 26 of them — during her senior season, averaging 9.6 points per game and 3.7 rebounds per game. While transferring is not uncommon, both for athletes and nonathletes, Jackson’s move was much less routine. Coming full circle, Jackson will once again step on the court as a Hoya under the leadership of Head Coach Natasha Adair.

Jackson left the Hoyas during a whirlwind of controversy following verbal abuse allegations against former Head Coach Keith Brown. Looking back, however, Jackson said the team dynamic caused her to seek a change.

“I guess, criticism, getting not necessarily yelled at, but thinking I was getting yelled at and just not being able to listen,” Jackson said. “I had a hard time listening to my coaches. I can’t really explain it.”

Despite the difficulty she faced playing for the Blue and Gray, Jackson is still unsure whether she made the right decision in leaving the team.

“It’s not something that I really wanted to do, but that was in 2013, that was my 2013 self, and that was much younger. I would say that I’ve matured a lot and I look at things differently now,” Jackson said. “So, things that I thought were a big deal back in 2013, looking back on it, it wasn’t that serious.”

Jackson discovered after her transfer that the speed of play at GMU in the Atlantic 10 conference was not the same as the intense nature of the Big East she had become accustomed to at Georgetown.

“It’s A-10,” Jackson said. “That’s not the same level. So again, it wasn’t as intense, it wasn’t as ‘go, go, go,’ and that was something that I wasn’t used to because I was used to screaming and the ‘get there’ and the hustle.”

Jackson looks forward to returning to the Big East, although she recognizes it will not be the exact same level of play she left behind in 2013.

“It’s not the same Big East, so it’s not as competitive as it was my freshman year because we had Notre Dame, we had all those powerhouse schools. And so now, the Big East is the Catholic Seven, so the competition is a little different, the talent is a little different,” Jackson said. “I think there is definitely more intensity than Mason. And more talent.”

Adair is excited to help Jackson as she returns to the Hoyas, and believes that her presence will be a positive addition to the team dynamic. She specifically noted that Jackson has taken on a role as a mentor for sophomore guard DiDi Burton.

“They were great overseas in how Jasmine’s able to give that experience to DiDi, and they just kind of gelled very well,” Adair said.

Adair believes that Jackson’s wide range of experiences can help her guide her new teammates in addition to providing a strong presence on the floor.

“Another mind that I could see one day being a coach, because she just really knows the game, works extremely hard, and so the fact that once we sat down and we talked and I wanted to hear, you know, what are you trying to accomplish here, and this is what your role would be, it meshed,” Adair said.

Once the two discussed their goals for the upcoming season, Jackson acknowledged that Georgetown was where she belonged. Jackson explained that she never wanted to leave the Hilltop, and that she had always wanted to receive her degree from Georgetown.

“Once a Hoya always a Hoya, so I was never a Patriot, really,” Jackson said.

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