Freshman making early impact on women’s team

Mary Kate Hailer, STAFF

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The IU Southeast women’s basketball team currently is holding a 6-3 record for the start of the season. The team currently has 14 players on their roster for the 2014-2015 season, and only three are freshman.

One freshman that has contributed a lot to the team at the start of the season, is shooting guard, Jade Spaulding.

Spaulding, a business major, realized she wanted to play basketball in the fourth grade at Hawthorne Elementary, while being Cheerleader. She discovered that basketball was the ultimate sport for her.

“I was a cheerleader and I knew I wanted to be the center of attention on the court,” Spaulding said. “And that was how I started playing and loving the game.”

Spaulding played basketball all four years at Eastern High School in Louisville.

This is where she met the person she really looked up to and inspired her to excel at basketball.

“I looked up to this teammate, Asia Nichols, because she plays the same way I do and loves the game,” Spaulding said.

With the help from coaches and continuing to play basketball, she learned more about the game and how much she enjoyed and love it, she said.

In high school, Spaulding also chose to run track and field just to stay in shape for the off-season.

“I loved track and I couldn’t decided between the two,” she said.

Spaulding suffered a knee injury her junior year at Eastern and felt like she had to make a decision between the two sports.

“I just started to not do as well in track, and I was more worried about basketball and getting a scholarship for college,” she said.

She really began to blossom as a basketball player that culminated in a game in which she scored a career high 36 points in her senior year against Mercy Academy High School located in the south of Louisville.

“I didn’t even know I had that many points until the end of the game,” she said.

Spaulding said it was a really cool feeling to see how many points she contributed for the team after the game was over.

After Spaulding’s high school career ended, she had scored over 1,500 points.

“It was so exciting and I felt really happy about that,” she said.

One of her fondest memories was a big win against another Louisville high school power house, Ballard.

“Beating Ballard in the regular season was a great experience,” Spaulding said.

Although a really sad moment in Spaulding’s career that she talked about was her

Senior year, in the district’s tournament hosted at Christian Academy of Louisville.

Spaulding’s Eastern High School, was ranked fifth in the state and went in to over time with the number two team in the state at the time, Ballard High School.

With just three seconds left in the game, Spaulding was called for a foul that gave Ballard two free throws to win the game.

“I put my hands up and then the ball was in my hands ready to score and the ref called a foul on me, but there was no time left on the clock,” Spaulding said.

According to Spaulding it was the most devastating moment in her high school career.

Spaulding said she has a really strong driven mindset when it comes to the game of basketball.

“I’m extremely competitive, you couldn’t tell outside of basketball, but in the locker room, they would know,” she said.

After high school Spaulding wanted to play college basketball and ultimately chose to play for The Grenadiers.

“I really liked the campus and the girls were really nice,” she said. And just the atmosphere of the team led me here.”

Heather Wheat, senior point guard and Spaulding’s teammate, said she has been really impressed and happy with her and that she is a big edition to the team.

“We are a quick team, and her quickness is going to help us out a lot,” Wheat said.

Spaulding has set some personal goals while here at IU Southeast. She wants to make it far in the tournament for basketball and graduate.

“I want to graduate and find a nice job in the sports business field,” she said.

She hopes to find a job being a sports agent. She said that would be the ideal job.

Some things that Spaulding likes to do for fun outside of basketball and school, is to be with her friends, and eating

.“I like to eat a lot and really just hang out with friends.”

Spaulding talked about how she felt after playing in her first college game.

“I was kind of nervous to play at first, she said. After I got in the game, I just started to play and didn’t worry about anything really.”

Spaulding’s first game as a freshman against Kentucky Christian University on Nov. 1. She entered the game in the first half with 13 minutes left. She ended up scoring 14 for the game.

Head coach, Robin Farris said Spaulding is a really great edition to the team.

“She plays real well. She’s got good speed and she can score for us,” Farris said. “For a lot of freshman, it’s hard to come in and play immediately. Jade is one of our top freshman right now.”

Spaulding said she is looking forward to the basketball season at IU Southeast and talked about the rest of the season.

“Hopefully we have a winning season, and we beat some good teams,” she said. “I think we can do big things this year in the tournament. We have all the pieces to be a really good team this year.”