On the court with Danville’s Jolee Cole
By Lauren Estes Special to the Enquirer
Danville senior Jolee Cole has been playing basketball since she was big enough to hold one – which is part of the reason her success continues to grow on and off the court.
The 18-year-old Hawk has been a standout for Danville as a shooting guard and recently committed to Faulkner University in Montgomery to play basketball after she graduates high school.
Her routine for game day is pretty consistent: zone in and cling to tunnel vision.
“Every game requires my full focus, but normally we have school, then we will go eat as a team, then we come back to the gym and get focused for the game,” said Cole, who wears No. 42 for the Hawks. “I wouldn’t say I get nervous about games, but right before every game, before we run out, I get this feeling in my gut that I cannot explain – but once I hit the floor, it’s gone.” Something that is important to Cole is being a leader and a role model, on and off the court.
“I try to be a leader for my team because I feel like it’s my role, and sometimes I might fail them, but I always try to do best by my team,” Cole said. “There is no ‘I’ in team, and that has always stuck with me. You have to play for your team, even the people who are not playing at the time. “We are all the team, and we are all one. It takes the whole team doing their job for us to succeed. It’s also our job to remind each other when we start falling behind, and we pick up each other’s slack.”
Goals for 2018-19 season have been simple – to give it her all.
“My individual goal this season was to play all around – not just on offense but to play in all areas of the game my hardest,” Cole said. “Our team goal would most definitely be to just play our hardest until all 32 minutes run out – leave everything on the court, no matter what the scoreboard says.”
Cole said she would not be in the position she is if it weren’t for her relationship with Jesus.
“I owe everything I have to God and my parents. I would not be the player I am today without God blessing me with the ability to play this incredible sport and the commitment from my family, coaches and teammates who constantly pushed me to be a better player,” Cole said. The games she and her team most look forward to are the ones in bold that set the tone for post-season play.
“All Area and county games are big games, but every game is big,” Cole said. “Area games are the games where you have to leave everything on the court.”