As phenomenal a career Jasmine Dickey had in games on the basketball court for Catonsville High in her four years, her impact off the court was equally as impressive.
Dickey, who amassed a school-record 2,091 points, led the 2018 squad to the Class 4A state championship game as a senior, one year after she was the catalyst for the 2017 Class 4A state champions.
“She was a once in a lifetime player for me,” said Catonsville coach Mike Mohler, who has 502 career coaching victories at Catonsville. “We have had some very, very good players, but she was on another level.”
Dickey’s work on the basketball court earned her the Catonsville Times 2018 Female Athlete of the Year award.
It is one of the many postseason awards she received.
She was the Baltimore Sun All-Metro Player of the Year and was named Ms. Basketball for the second year in a row. That honor goes to the best public school player in the state of Maryland.
“She had a pretty good postseason,” Mohler said. “Not too many kids had this kind of postseason and it was all well-deserved.”
After her final season ended in a 60-56 loss to Eleanor Roosevelt in the state title game, when she had 22 points and 16 rebounds, she played in the Capital Classic with the Capital all-stars.
Mohler expects to honor her next year with a first in Catonsville basketball history.
“As long as I am there, we will retire her number and that has never been done,” Mohler said. “No one will ever wear number 20 again.”
Her jersey number was appropriate for Dickey this past season, when she averaged 20 points and 10.8 rebounds a game for the 23-4 Comets.
During five playoff games, Dickey averaged 27 points, most coming in the second half.
In the Comets’ 56-54 win over Howard in the Class 4A North regional semifinals, Dickey scored a game-high 25 points and added 18 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
In the final seconds, she slapped the ball away from Marissa Sanchez-Henry, who was attempting a possible game-winning three-pointer.
Dickey scored 16 points in the final 13 minutes and converted her team’s final eight points.
In the Comets’ 63-51 triumph over Bethesda-Chevy Chase in the state semifinals, Dickey scored 24 of her game-high 30 points in the second half helping the Comets rally from a 17-point first-half deficit.
Her poise and confidence under pressure is uncanny.
“I really try to focus on the bigger picture, like I know where I want to take my team and I know where we want to go as a team,” Dickey said. “The championship is where we wanted to be at Towson [University], so I think that is the main reason I get the motor going and my teammates kept the motor.”
She admits the nerves are there, but invicible to the fans.
“I try not to get too nervous, because I don’t want to show my nerves and I don’t want to show signs of weakness,” Dickey said.
She didn’t show any signs of weakness in the Comets’61-47 win over Western, of Baltimore City, when she had 35 points and 28 rebounds in the sectional semifinals.
“That performance against Western, that’s three games for a lot of people,” Mohler said. “She just took over games and was smart enough to know her situation with fouls.”
Dickey wasn’t aware of her numbers in the win over Western.
“I couldn’t even believe it myself,” Dickey said. “I don’t even calculate my stats while I’m playing. I play and when they said that at the end of the game, I was shocked.”
Nothing would stun Mohler, who marveled at her toughness every day in practice.
“She is an exceptional player, but she is a better kid and I know it’s cliché, but it is so true,” Mohler said. “This girl would get beat up physically, just because of the way she played. She is a slasher and rebounder and she would just get body-slammed at times and never says a word.”
Dickey never liked to watch from the bench, even in practice.
“I would get bumped into or get my finger jammed, twist my ankle or hit my elbow and coach Mike would want to get me out and I’m like, ‘I’m okay, I’m fine, I don’t want to get out, I hate coming out,’ unless I ask for a sub, don’t take me out.”
Dickey never had a confrontation with teammates and only got one technical foul in her career, but Mohler did have some disagreements in practice.
“There were times I had to say, ‘No, you are sitting down, get out of this drill’ and I would have to force her every single day,” Mohler said. “But, every single day she did something to try and get better. She never took a play off in practice.”
During the Comets’ 78-42 victory over Paint Branch in the regional final, Dickey sat out the final 11:43 of the first half, after picking up her second foul.
With Dickey on the bench, Catonsville extended a 7-4 lead to 34-18 at halftime, with strong contributions from senior starters Jameila Barrett, Stashia Daniels and junior Gabby Douglas and sophomore reserves Sophi Wrisk and Maddi McLean.
Dickey, who had two points when she went to the bench, had confidence in her teammates.
“They were doing great, they were holding the team up and making plays and they were doing their thing, so I was excited about it, so me sitting out didn’t really have that big of an impact because they did great, so I was just there to cheer them on,” she said.
She started the second half and did have an impact, scoring 26 of her game-high 28 points.
“It was so good having the other kids come in there and pick up the slack, but then again, she knew what she was capable of doing and it was ‘Boom, lets go.’ ” Mohler said. “There was no let me get back into the flow, the flow is her, she is the flow.”
Dickey, Barrett and Daniels were four-year varsity players and they were a combined 93-14 with two Baltimore County championships and two regional crowns.
“We are losing some very good players,” Mohler said. “Jameila has been phenomenal and we are losing Stashia. Jasmine was just a cut above. She has that something special and you can’t coach it.”
Dickey will play at Division I University of Delaware next season, while Barrett is going to play at Division I Norfolk State.
“I think she is going to be terrific,” Mohler said. “Delaware is obviously ecstatic to have her. They got a new staff last year and she was their first recruit and they are going to build around her.”
Dickey, who plans to study Kinesiology, leaves for college on July 8 and she has been working out and staying in shape.
“It’s that next chapter in my life, so I’m pretty excited,” Dickey said.
And she will never forget the last chapter, especially the 2017 team that won a state title, which was her favorite memory.
“I really think it was winning the championship, it was something Catonsville hasn’t done in a very long time, especially the girls basketball program and just winning it for coach Mike and coach Mandy (Fischer) and (former) coach Rich (Hunt), everybody, it was just a really great feeling and I felt good about it and the seniors that were there, getting them a ring,” Dickey said. “I had the feeling we can do this again and we were close to it and we couldn’t pull it out, but we still made it, so it was a really good feeling.”
In addition to the on court success she had this season, Dickey had fun with her teammates off of it.
“We definitely bonded a lot off the court, like we had sleepovers every weekend, or we would go watch a movie or do something fun with each other and it was just like we were always together,” Dickey said.
And she never put herself above those teammates.
“Basketball skills aside, just being who she was, she never ever, ever, ever let on that she had anything close to a big head about all of her success,” Mohler said. “She was a very humble person, but very determined.”