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Get to know AJC Sixth Man of the Year Emma Jenkins

Mar. 29—This year's Sixth Man of the Year of the All-Johnson County Girls Basketball Team is Grandview guard Emma Jenkins. The senior helped Grandview earn a district championship with an overall record of 28-7 (8-2 in district play) and reach the area round of the postseason. Jenkins posted season averages of 5.9 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game and 0.5 steals per game.

You provided good scoring off the bench and helped the Lady Zebras to a strong season. Talk about the chemistry you guys had as a team this year?

"When it came to chemistry, we were all very close from the beginning. Since we had a team of returning varsity players, we had grown to play as a team, rather than as individuals. There were many games at the beginning of the season that we could've given up and just taken the loss, but as a team, we pushed back even harder and played the best we could. What brought us so close as a team was the off-season, we would get to the school early every day for workouts and we had extra games that brought us closer together. Our team chemistry was one of the main things Coach Adams talked about leading up to the season and it paid off this season. The season started off great, but in the middle, we were sick and tired so we lost a couple of games, but we didn't let that change our goal, which was to win district. We set out a goal to win the rest of our games and, although it was difficult, we persevered and won it all."

A team's sixth man is a player who has good chemistry with the starters and is the leader of the second unit. How did you feel you grew as a leader in your important role this year?

"At the beginning of this past season, I was given the role of being a leader, mostly because I was a senior and every year the seniors are the leaders. So, I began to understand what being a leader truly meant, which meant when we were in a slump I had to help us get out by being positive and pushing my teammates to do their best. As the year went on and we, as teammates, got closer I figured out how to individually help each person whether it meant getting them to cheer on the bench or pushing them in practice. In practice, I tried to find new ways to make practice fun instead of something we resented. Then in games, those habits would show, not only on the court but also on the bench, while we were cheering on our teammates and finding the fun in the situations. Overall, being presented with the role of a leader on this team helped me grow and learn to lead others around me while also having a good time with my teammates."

What got you into playing basketball and how grateful are you that your high school career has been with Grandview?

"My parents are why I started playing basketball, and have pushed me to do my best ever since. I started playing with the Grandview Youth Association when I was only 4 years old and never stopped. All throughout my childhood I looked up to the high school players and wanted to be just like them. So when I got the opportunity to start my high school career I was nothing less than excited. Along with playing in my hometown, I also got the opportunity to play with the same teammates I'd been playing with since GYA which was my favorite team I've ever been on. Our team also got lucky and got to play with Coach Adams from seventh grade all the way to our senior year. My entire career with Grandview was amazing and I wouldn't wish to have played anywhere else."