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Player Spotlight – Jessie Ford

There’s not long to go until the mid-season break but we still have enough time for another spotlight piece, taking the opportunity to ask a WEABL player what makes them tick, how they got into basketball, their goals for this season and beyond, and much more.

This week, we’ve been chatting to JMA’s Jessie Ford.

Name: Jessie Ford

Position: Forward

Team: John Madejski Academy

Tell us a little about yourself:

I am from Marlborough but moved to Reading two years ago to play basketball at a higher level.

When I was younger I played football and swam competitively, but at 14, basketball was the sport that I fell in love with and have been playing for five years.

How and where did you first get into basketball?

I started playing basketball in an after school club, following that I was put into an U16 team for my county.

Along with watching the WNBA, playing the sport competitively is what sparked my passion for it.

Can you a remember a moment when you decided basketball was something you wanted to play more seriously? What happened?

When I was emailed by the coach of Reading Rockets, who asked me to come to the academy to play for two years.

I had never considered playing basketball at an academy before and once I started playing for Reading I realised that basketball was something I wanted to play seriously and continue through the next period of my life.

What have been the biggest challenges of your basketball career so far?

Playing at a higher level than what I had been used to and playing with significantly better players than me.

I had to understand my role in the team and overcome doubts and negative thoughts I had about my basketball ability.

Who is the toughest player you’ve faced?

The toughest player I have played against would definitely be WNBL Player of the Year Harriet Welham.

Her knowledge of the game and skill set is one that I admire and it makes her difficult to guard.

She is very experienced and has the ability to get to the basket and score in multiple ways, that made her a tough player to stop.

What are your current goals for the season?

My goals for this season are to focus on performing more consistently in games and shooting at a higher percentage from three point range.

Do you have any plans or goals for next season?

Next season my goal is to be playing high-level basketball in America or at a UK university.

What are you currently working on to take your game to the next level?

I am working on creating shots for myself instead of just catching and shooting the ball.

I’m also working on being able to finish in different ways under the basket.

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started in basketball?

Mistakes are a good thing that you can learn a lot from.

Making mistakes is a part of the journey that will help you to grow and develop into a better player.

Who is your favourite basketball player and why?

My favourite basketball player is Kelsey Plum because she has an impact on every team she plays for and isn’t afraid to do something different.

She is creative in the way she plays and can shoot the ball really well.

All image credits – JMA/Reading Rockets