Jordyn Jenkins is just beginning to tap her potential.
“I’ve been getting better these past three years, and I’ve got to get better again,” the 6-foot-2 junior said as she looks ahead to a final season at Kentridge High School and another possible championship run in 2019-20.
Which means more lost sleep for opposing coaches.
“Jordyn’s combination of size, strength and athleticism are just a nightmare for most girls’ teams to try to defend,” said Woodinville coach Scott Bullock, who faced the task twice this season. “The biggest challenge is keeping her off the glass. She is a great high-school player with a great future.”
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And for her play this season, Jenkins is The Seattle Times state girls basketball player of the year.
Jenkins averaged 21.5 points and 9.2 rebounds – shooting 65 percent on two-point field goals – in leading the Chargers (26-3) to a third straight top-four finish at the Class 4A state tournament. She was a key part of the 2017 championship team as a freshman. Kentridge placed fourth last year and took third after a semifinal loss to Lewis & Clark of Spokane, despite Jenkins’ 23 points. She closed out the season with a career-high 32 points (plus 11 rebounds) in the consolation final.
Kentridge is 78-11 since her arrival.
Jenkins, who averaged 11.5 points per game as a freshman and 16.8 in her sophomore campaign, extended her shooting range this season. But coach Brad McDowell typically played her inside to compliment 6-4 senior JaQuaya Miller, who has signed with Washington.
“I consistently had her around the basket for a couple of reasons,” McDowell said, “but her overall strength and desire to score were the biggest factors. She has really good hands and can catch just about anything that is close or she will tip it to herself if the pass is a little off target. She has really good anticipation as to where the ball is going to come off the rim.”
He added that she has an uncanny ability to hang in the air and is an emphatic shot-blocker that can have a demoralizing affect.
Jenkins, 17, began playing basketball in grade school because her older brother and sister played. She dabbled in other sports, such as swimming and taekwondo, and was into cheerleading for several years, but said she really liked the team aspect of basketball.
While Jenkins said she has no official scholarship offers, she has drawn a lot of interest from numerous Pac-12 and Big Ten schools – especially after a big season with the state’s top AAU team, Tree of Hope. She was able to play away from the basket more.
“I got more comfortable being able to play the three (position) and express more of my talents as a basketball player,” Jenkins said.
She credits playing beside Miller the past three seasons as a key to her growth as well.
“It’s been so amazing,” Jenkins said. “She was a mentor, and not just in basketball, in school. … She always brings such positive energy. I can get down in basketball games, and she’s just the opposite. We’ve worked so well together with our chemistry on the court. Our bond is unbreakable.”
Jenkins, who said her favorite hobby is reading book series (her favorite is Twilight), knows she will have to become more of a leader next season in the absence of Miller and the other four seniors on this year’s team.
“I’ve got to step it up,” she said.
And continue to raise the level of her game as well, especially if she hopes to book-end her Kentridge career with state championships.
“I’m going to try to shoot more and get more three’s up and work on my ball-handling,” Jenkins said. “Once I get those skills down, I feel I can be pretty unstoppable.”
Seattle Times All-State team
G Oumou Toure, Kamiakin, 5-11, sr.
22.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 steals
Toure (committed to Butler) helped bring home four state trophies and shattered her school’s career scoring record (22.07 career average) and swept the MCC MVP award the last three seasons.
F Dalayah Daniels, Garfield, 6-4, jr.
21 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks
Some consider Daniels the most talented all-around player in the state and she’s taken the Bulldogs to the state semifinals the past two seasons (they placed 2nd in 2018).
G Hailey Van Lith, Cashmere, 5-9, jr.
32 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.6 steals
Ranked as high as a No. 3 national prospect, Van Lith has the ability to take over games (poured in 50 and 52 this season shooting 65-70%). Great leaper with excellent range.
G Brynna Maxwell, Gig Harbor, 6-0, sr.
26.8 points, 9 rebounds, 3.9 steals
The Tides didn’t get back to state after taking 2018 title, but got close thanks to Maxwell (committed to Utah), the SSC MVP who broke her own school record for points in a season and had 48 in a playoff game.
C Keeli Burton-Oliver, Eastlake, 6-3, jr.
20.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists
With 22 points, 13 boards, Burton-Oliver (headed to Arizona State) was the clear state MVP as Eastlake won its first state crown. Double-double regular also keyed 2018 semifinal run.
PF Mia Hughes, Woodinville, 5-10, so.
21.2 points, 7 rebounds, 2.1 assists
PF JaQuaya Miller, Kentridge, 6-4, sr.
17 points, 11 rebounds, 3.8 assists
SF Jacinta Buckley, Lewis & Clark, 6-0, sr.
16.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3 assists
F Brooke Walling, Prairie, 6-3, sr.
13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 steals
G Ashlee Maldonado, Sunnyside, 5-8, sr.
18.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.7 assists