Jazmine Massengill, an elite guard in the Class of 2018, has committed to Tennessee, giving the Lady Vols their second verbal in the class.
Massengill, who is from Harrison, Tennessee, plays for Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga. She has made five trips recently to Knoxville and attended two Tennessee football games in the fall and was in the stands for Lady Vol games this season against Baylor, Kentucky and Mississippi State. She may come back for the Notre Dame game on Monday if her schedule permits.
“Tennessee felt like home – the environment, the people, the fans, the team, the coaches,” Massengill said. “I loved it all. They really made me feel welcome.”
Massengill is a 6-0 combo guard who projects to the wing in college. Massengill, who has size and strength, can get to the rim. She also is an excellent passer and possesses a high basketball IQ, especially for a high school junior.
She called Tennessee coach Holly Warlick on Monday evening with the news and opted to wait until Sunday to make the announcement public. Massengill also wanted to make sure the other coaching staffs were aware of her decision – she was recruited by basically every SEC school, along with Louisville, Florida State and UCLA, among others – before it was on social media. Warlick had been on “Vol Calls” before Massengill called.
“She was excited,” Massengill said. “She had just come back from radio. She said I made her night. I was excited, and she was excited. I honestly just can’t wait. I can’t wait to be a Lady Vol.”
Tennessee is recruiting several of Massengill’s teammates, including Elizabeth Balogun of the Class of 2018. The 6-0 Balogun plays on the wing with tremendous athleticism and leaping ability. Both Massengill and Balogun are considered elite recruits in the class.
Massengill has made five trips recently to Knoxville. She attended two Tennessee football games in the fall and was in the stands for the Lady Vol games this season against Baylor, Kentucky and Mississippi State. Balogun was with Massengill for the Mississippi State game, and Tennessee considers Balogun a top target, too.
“We have always wanted to go to college together, but I told her wherever she decides to go to college, whether she decides to go to Tennessee or wherever she decides to go, I am always going to be her biggest supporter,” Massengill said.
Massengill is the second commit for Tennessee in the Class of 2018, joining Amira “Mimi” Collins, a 6-3 forward, from White Plains, Maryland, who plays for Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia. The two have yet to meet, but they share a favorite player in Candace Parker.
Massengill does know Anastasia “Annie” Hayes, a 2017 signee who plays at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro. Hayes, who may be one of the Lady Vols’ best recruiters, made the trip to Knoxville when Massengill made a visit in October.
“I know Annie; we always talk,” Massengill said. “I told her when I was about to commit that I wanted to play for Coach Holly. We are really good friends.”
While Massengill can’t officially sign a letter of intent until next November, she was ready to make the commitment to Warlick. Assistant coach Sharrona Reaves was the primary recruiter for Massengill.
“I was always thinking about it, praying about it,” said Massengill, who wants to study physical therapy in college so she can work in the sports field later. “I told my mother, ‘I really want to go to Tennessee.’ Ever since I was a young girl, I knew I always knew that I wanted to come to Tennessee because Candace Parker was my favorite player, so I wanted to follow her. I just felt like it was right. I was following my dreams.
“I was thinking about it and I came to my mom. I was like, ‘Mom, I am going to do it. I am going to commit to Tennessee.’ ”
Charmaine Massengill backed her daughter’s dream.
“I was just texting Coach Reaves before I told her, and she said, ‘Well, go ahead.’ She told me to follow my heart, and she would be my supporter no matter what. Knowing that, it really comforted me.
I told myself, ‘What am I waiting on? I already know I want to go there.’ The people are great, fans are great, great team, great coaches. So why not?’ ”