Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Sports

March 15, 2011

Rebuilt and renewed

Barrett battles back from blown-out knee to lead TVCC into national tournament

Salina, Kan. —  Jenea Barrett just isn’t someone used to sitting the bench.

From the time she was little, Barrett had been used to shining on the basketball court. But when she blew out her right knee just a few games into last season, she found herself unable to help her team for the first time in her life.

That’s all history now.

Barrett, a freshman from Toronto, Canada, is one of the Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals’ top players as the team goes for the school’s sixth national championship this week. The Lady Cardinals (31-2) are the third seed at the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, which begins today. TVCC will face John A. Logan (20-7) in the first round at 10 a.m.

“I know how high the stakes are,” Barrett said. “I know what we’ve got to do and the type of leadership we’ve got to have. There’s pressure because I’ve never played at nationals with this team, but then again there’s not pressure because all I can do is play my type of basketball.”

Barrett — a high school teammate of current TVCC teammates Lesha Dunn and Lee Anna Osei — won back-to-back national championships in prep school before coming to TVCC. She sat out all but a handful of games last season after tearing up her knee, although she did make the trip to Salina last season with the team to encourage teammates from the bench.

This season, she’s doing her talking on the court. She averages just under 10 points per game this season, but as she showed in a 20-point, MVP performance in the Region XIV Conference championship game earlier this month, she’s capable of putting a team on her back.

Don’t be surprised if the Lady Cards ask to hop on those shoulders a few more times at this week’s national tournament.

“I told everybody I could that she was the best junior college player I had seen all summer,” TVCC Co-Head Coach Kenya Landers said, referring to when she was an assistant coach scouting for LSU last summer. “She’s so explosive, and she has such a high basketball IQ. It’s something you really can’t teach.”

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