Local athlete tapped for coaching position at Anderson University

Winston-Salem native Jazmine Charles will begin her coaching career at Anderson University.

Local athlete tapped for coaching position at  Anderson University
June 30
13:03 2021

Coaching is a calling that is not meant for everyone. Jazmine Charles fought the call to coach for years, but after her playing career ended, she seemed to be on a collision course to coach and has now landed her first position as an assistant coach for the women’s team at Anderson University.

Through connections she has made over the years, the opportunity to coach at Anderson presented itself and Charles jumped at the chance. The Winston native has been around the game for years as a player and trainer, so coaching will give her the chance to get back on the court and immersed in the game she loves.

“Honestly this came through a lot of networking,” Charles said. “The basketball world is so small. “ 

Charles followed in the footsteps of her father by gravitating toward the sport of basketball. By being around the game, it was only natural for her to play.

“My dad played, and he used to play in three-on-three tournaments and stuff like that and so as a little girl, I was already around it,” she said. “It was actually one of the first sports I tried after soccer and softball, but it seemed to come naturally when it comes to understanding the game.”

The drive to play the game was there early for Charles, but it took a few years for her skills to catch up with her drive. Charles says she was not very good when she first started; however, through hard work she became quite good during her high school years.

“I could say that sophomore year in high school is when I was like, I really have a chance to play in college, and really being able to do something with the game,” said Charles.  

Charles played college basketball at Lenoir-Rhyne University. During her four years there, she continued to develop her game.

“When I got to college, I strictly was able to play the guard position and honestly, it was like I really had to take my game to the next level,” she continued. “I really didn’t grow up with a trainer like they have nowadays. So, the shooting, ball-handling, and the shooting off the dribble, and the being able to do a lot of the one-on-one moves, and even shooting behind the arc, I feel like I had to develop that a lot in college, because in high school, I could do those things here and there, but not at a consistent high-level basis.

“Gradually, every year, off-season is really when I took it a lot more seriously, as far as hitting the weights and really being conditioned to where I just was a better player. I think I got better every year, on and off the court. I stayed in the gym and I stayed working out.”

While at Lenoir-Rhyne, Charles led the Bears to a South Atlantic Conference championship in her junior season and accumulated several other awards and honors during her time there.

Playing professional basketball became a possibility following Charles’ stellar junior season. She says there were very few women she knew who went overseas to play professional basketball, especially from the Division II level, but knew she had the talent to do so.

Charles played two seasons overseas in England and Romania, respectively, and obtained her master’s degree while there. She said playing with European players was an eyeopener for her and allowed her to see the game being played in a different way.

“Seeing what European basketball was like was totally different,” she said about her time overseas. “It was competitive in a different sense, but I think it definitely allowed me to grow my knowledge of the game a lot more, because you have to think differently. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s just completely different playing against Europeans than it is playing Americans, so how you think and how you create to score and even play defense is completely different.”

Before leaving for Europe, Charles was a trainer at the Chris Paul Academy. Upon returning to the United States, she returned to CP3 and continued to do player development for the next two years, as well as other roles.

Charles was hoping for another opportunity to play overseas, but says the politics of women’s basketball overseas was too much to handle. While working in her player development role, Charles was able to see the game in a different light.

After her time with the CP3 Academy, Charles joined the staff at Liberty University as the video coordinator. It was a different role for her to now be “behind the scene,” instead of being on the floor as a player or trainer.

“I feel like I’ve gotten my hands and my mind into the game in a lot of different aspects after playing,” she said.  

Charles still had a yearning to get back out on the court, so through her connections, she was able to meet with Anderson University head coach Jonathon Barbaree. After a phone and in-person interview, she was offered the assistant coaching position.

Charles knows the world of coaching is totally different than anything she has experienced thus far.  Her goal is to get acclimated to recruiting as quickly as possible, because she knows that is a major part of college athletics.  

“Being able to build the relationships and networks in the recruiting side of things is a big expectation for me, because that’s completely new,” Charles continued. “For the players that I have, I am just excited to get on the court with them.”

The fact that she has seen the game from many different aspects will benefit her in the new role as assistant coach, said Charles. She feels her ability to build relationships is one of the greatest impacts she can bring as a coach.

“I truly care about them as a person and so I want to see them grow over the years,” she said. “I think just instilling that good relationship as mentor and mentee has always been important.”

Emotionally, Charles thinks she will have a mix of emotions for her first game as a coach. The fact Anderson University is in the same conference as Lenoir-Rhyne makes it feel like she has come full circle in her career.  

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors