Jamia Blake’s Passion For the Game


Cassidy Clark, Editor-in-Chief

In the big gym, looking down from the balcony, you could spot freshman Jamia Blake and her love for the game.

During the Stallion varsity women’s basketball game, roaring and excited fans fill in the bleachers. Half of Blake’s teammates are sitting in red chairs on the opposite side of the gym.

Blake dribbles the ball down the heavily-waxed, light wood floor, dressed in a red jersey with the number ‘3’ neatly sewn on the front and back of it. A white Nike headband pushes her dark hair out of her face. She looks to her left, where she sees her teammate, Scarlett Gilmore, and then up to the scoreboard; the ladies were down by one point. Blake passes the ball and runs closer to the basket, Gilmore passes it back to her, and she gets ready to shoot.

The crowd roars when the ball falls in.

It is plays like that, and her passion, that led to her recent honor as The Herald’s All-Area First Team Player of the Year. It’s why she made the All Region team and why Head women’s basketball coach Stephanie Butler named her South Pointe’s “Most Outstanding Player” during the team’s award ceremony. As a freshman, all these awards are a lot to accomplish.

“I fell in love with the feeling, the competition.” said Blake. “That feeling is why I continued to play.”

Blake’s love for basketball started when she was only five years old.

“When I was younger, I used to go to the YMCA afterschool program, and I loved playing all of the other sports, but basketball ended up being my favorite,” Blake explained.

While Blake absolutely loved basketball, she believes that there are some flaws to it, such as having to wake up at 5 a.m. on a school day to work out and practice.

“It wasn’t the best situation,” Blake stated. “We weren’t allowed to take showers, so we had to improvise and I didn’t feel as fresh as I wanted to.”

Blake started off playing basketball for community teams to expand her experience. Last year, she played for Rock Hill Rising Stars. Along with that experience, she played on an AAU team including eighth and ninth graders.  When she was in fifth grade, she even played for an all-boys team. During that time she broke her scaphoid, a bone in her wrist.

At one of Blake’s games in fifth grade, she was playing rough already. Everyone was trying to show off the baskets they could make, but for Blake, it was her dunk. She felt very confident in her dunking, so much that she decided to try it during the game. She got the ball and started dribbling it down the court. Blake got her running start, jumped in the air, and fell right back down. After the short minute of embarrassment passed, she got up and kept playing even though her wrist was aching in pain. Although she got hurt afterwards, she learned to always get what you want, if it might hurt you.

Blake hopes that colleges will notice her talent on the basketball court. She wishes to earn a full ride to the University of South Carolina, University of Connecticut, or the University of Tennessee.

“Those are my dream schools, but I’d obviously be grateful to get a scholarship to any other school,” Blake chuckles.

Although Blake dedicated many hours to basketball, many hours are set aside for free time. She enjoys going to parties, wingbonz, and the movies where she watches her fair share of scary and comedic movies.

“I like scary movies sometimes, it all depends on if it’s really scary,” claims Blake. “Comedies are my favorite though.”

Because Blake is a very social individual, it is hard to differentiate between the good friends and those who go behind your back.

“I have a hard time trusting people,” Blake admits.

Just like many teenagers, Blake has been through a tough situations where people have used her and let her down.

Blake thought she always saw the good in people until she told too much of her personal life to someone who used it against her.

“It sucked and led me to serious trust issues,” Blake said.

To get away from all of the stress and “fake” people in her life, Blake listens to music or as she likes to called it, “her escape.” Anytime you see Blake, whether it’s in the hallway or practicing her free throws, she’s always listening to music. She’ll probably be distanced away from everyone else, with white Apple earbuds in her ears and PARTYNEXTDOOR blaring from them.

While a lot of athletes are ungrateful of basketball, Blake knows better than to act that way. She’s extremely grateful for everything she has been blessed with.

“Sometimes people aren’t physically and mentally able to play.” Blake explains “If I didn’t have basketball in my life, I don’t know what I’d be doing.”

Blake believes that she’d still be playing some kind of sport, like volleyball or softball. Since basketball has been in Blake’s life for so long, she doesn’t know where she’d be without her love for the game.