A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
The Twins Are Trendsetters At George Washington
The Adairs are tied with Oklahoma’s Paris twins as the second tallest sister duo in the country, followed by the Bofia’s of Arizona. The twins decided on staying local to make more history.MARYLAND — There are seven sisters in Division I women’s basketball.
Since the ninth grade, Jazmine and Jessica Adair knew that George Washington University would be their choice. Their former high school basketball coach, Frank Briscoe exposed them to Colonials basketball. Back then, Jazmine admired Ugo Oha, a former standout at GW.
Wearing longer hair braids, Jazmine, standing 6 foot 3, grabbed 500 rebounds at Anacostia High, in southeast, Washington. Jessica, at 6 foot 4, is the first female to tally 1000 points at their alma mater.
The transition to George Washington University was extremely difficult, initially. Having to adjust to different cultures, the academic responsibility and basketball was a challenge.
Coming from an all black environment; not doing a lot of work in high school, learning how to avoid gang involvement, drug users, and drive byes, was everyday life.
A devoted mother, Angela Monica Adair, a concerned coach and teachers, their Godparents, Michael and Harriet Smith, nurtured the twins in making wise choices.
“Where we come from a lot of people do not go to a diverse school like this,” says Jazmine, who was chosen Newcomer of the Year following the 2005-2006 season.
Jazmine and Jessica are demonstrating that being student-athletes at George Washington University is achievable.
In 2005, the twins struggled academically. Jazmine intelligently began to ignore the negative comments by envious outsiders and got focused. The 2005-2006 Atlantic 10 All Rookie Team nominee played in 30 games, started in 16, most of any GW rookie.
Jazmine season’s best is 12 rebounds against LaSalle, three blocks at Auburn and scoring 14 points against Charlotte. Her personal goals are to dunk on an opponent, and to improve as an all around player.
Admittingly, Jazmine says, “ The pace of the game in college is more physical. Teammates looked up to her in the Interhigh, but now, she has to rely on her teammates on and off the court.
One of those teammates is Sarah Jo- Lawrence, the junior shooting guard, who was named E.S.P.N. The Magazine Academic All- District 11 first team pick last month. “ We encourage one another and take a Race and Minority Relations class”, Lawrence said.
“It’s wonderful playing with twins. They get rebounds and provide inside scoring”. As a team, the ladies go to the movies and dine out, every two weeks.
Last semester Jazmine made the dean’s list. The twins attended both summer sessions. “ I refuse to be a statistic, have managed my time wisely, and took 15 credits,” Jessica proudly stated.
Jazmine also worked as a GW Basketball Camp instructor, while Jessica represented the JB All- Stars, who defeated a semi-pro team at Bertie Backus Middle School for the championship, during the summer. Aspiring to be a Sports Psychologist, Jazmine eloquently utters that the professors are very close to the students, another reason for choosing GWU.
Jessica, who plans to major in Criminal Justice, wants to break the scoring record held by Assistant Coach Tajama (Abraham) Ngongba- 2,134 points. The potential is definitely there.
She played fabulously in the N.C.A.A. tournament as a freshman registering 13.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. As a sophomore, she’s averaging those same numbers. She earned a spot on the 2007 Atlantic 10 first team squad. She had a season high 23 points against Tennessee, 15 rebounds against Xavier and five blocks against Rhode Island.
The Charlotte 49ers head coach Amanda Butler says; “there is not a more powerful post tandem in the country, in the Adair sisters. To have one start the game and the other coming off the bench, gives GW tremendous post presence at all times.”
On February 25, the Colonials, 25-2 overall and 14-0, won there six consecutive Atlantic 10 regular season title beating Temple, 56-53. They are three wins away from tying the school record of 28 victories.
Ranked ninth in the country by Associated Press, the Colonials is a top seed, with a first round bye, in the 2007 Atlantic 10 Championship being held at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio- March 2. To prepare for another post season run, practice was held on Thursday- March 1.
Jazmine ran the floor graciously during the three- man weave drill, as Jessica was icing her right shoulder. Minutes later, the twins were working on their low post moves against each other. The scrimmage was discontinued for a moment.
Underneath the basket, Coach Joe McKeown told the ladies that they are in college to learn. He made Jessica run a suicide. And, then Jazmine shot free throws. When she missed a free throw, the entire team had to run another suicide. “That was just to keep them focused,” says McKeown, a two- time National Coach of the Year nominee.
Under McKeown’s tutelage, the twins are the first to play at George Washington University. “They are so much better, the conditioning, intensity and skill level”, McKeown said.
“The impact they can make in the city with a degree from GW would be awesome. I really enjoy being around them, the potential is here, and it has created the awareness of our program throughout the country”.
There are 15 banners at Charles E. Smith Center belonging to the women’s basketball teams, all under Coach Joe McKeown, who learned a lot from Dave Bing. A season ticket holder, G. Davis Anderson, the University Archivist Historian, remember seeing the twins for the first time.
“ They’re fun to watch and have contributed to the fans personal enjoyment of the game,” he said. Even though, Jessica and Jazmine Adair are potential W.N.B.A. draftees, their minds are primarily set on adding a couple of national title banners to their historical adventure at George Washington University.