Jasmine Dickey, 2018, Catonsville High School

by Katherine Dunn

Jasmine Dickey’s favorite high school basketball moment comes as no surprise.

“Of course winning that state championship. That was the best thing ever,” Dickey said of Catonsville’s victory in the 2017 Class 4A title game, the first girls basketball state championship in program history.

Dickey, 5-foot-10, scored 30 points and had 11 rebounds in the 49-46 title-game victory over Walt Whitman. She hit 18-of-24 free throws and grabbed a rebound off her own miss with 19.1 seconds left to seal the title.

“I think it was being in the zone,” Dickey said of her performance. “I remember coming out at halftime and shooting free throws and next thing you know, I’m on the free-throw line. It’s just the little things and then the big shots. I know Gabby (Douglas) hit one big shot and Stasia (Daniels) got a block or something. Everybody contributed and it was so much fun. When time started to run down and when we got to the end, everybody started screaming. It was so unbelievable.”

VSN’s No. 4 Forward of the Decade, Dickey finished her Catonsville career with 2,091 points to become Baltimore County’s all-time leading scorer — and with a long list of accolades.

Former Catonsville star Jasmine Dickey had to work hard to achieve the same level of success at the University of Delaware that she reached in high school, but as a junior she is averaging 22.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Named Co-Player of the Year by Varsity Sports Network and Player of the Year by the Baltimore Sun as a senior, she was the Most Valuable Player in the Maryland Basketball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game after scoring 31 points.

Twice, the all public school MBCA named her Ms. Maryland Basketball. Dickey was a three-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro first-team selection after making the second team as a freshman.

Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said Dickey never wanted to come out of a game and that same determination drove her to constantly work on improving her skills. She now ranks among the top scoring players in Division I, leading Delaware with 22.8 points per game.

“Every day, every practice, every drill was nothing short of 100 percent,” Mohler said. “She wasn’t a talker. Jasmine just let her performance speak. She’d talk to me. She’d go, ‘Coach, relax. We got this,’ and most of the time she did. She never did anything but play the game and play it hard.”

Dickey, who averaged 23.8 points and 9.7 rebounds as a junior, had the mid-range game and ball-handling skills of a guard, but she excelled at getting to the rim and battling for rebounds.

She came to play every day, but she truly stood out in the biggest games. In her final two seasons, she regularly exceeded her season averages in playoff games.

As a senior, she averaged 20 points and 10.8 rebounds, but she had 22 points and 16 rebounds in the state final as the Comets fell just short of repeating, 60-56 to Eleanor Roosevelt. Through five playoff games that year, she scored 140 points and grabbed 92 rebounds.

In the sectional final, she scored 16 of her 25 points in the last 13 minutes to lead the Comets past Howard, 56-54, in a showdown of Top 5 teams. She also had 18 rebounds and seven blocks.

“The biggest thing about her is she’s relentless,” Howard coach Scott Robinson told The Baltimore Sun after that game. “She says she’s going to put the team on her back and she does. This was the second year in a row against us. In the fourth quarter, we threw everything we could at her defensively and it didn’t matter. She’s the most athletic player on the floor and she plays extremely hard.”

To Mohler, the quintessential Jasmine Dickey game came in the 61-47 sectional semifinal win over Western her senior year. She scored 35 points and had 28 rebounds, securing the win with another big finish. As Western started closing the gap late, Dickey scored every Catonsville point in a 12-1 run that all but assured the win.

“I’ve never seen anyone in my entire life dominate a game like that,” said Mohler. “She just said, ‘This team’s on my back and we’re not losing.’ It was the performance of a lifetime.”

This winter, as a junior at Delaware, Dickey has scored 20 or more points in 12 games for the 16-2 Blue Hens, who are 13-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Her 22.8 scoring average ranks No. 11 in all of Division I and second in the CAA. She also ranks fourth in the CAA in rebounds with an 8.2 average.

She started her college career the same way she left off at Catonsville, with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and she is believed to be the first Blue Hen ever to debut with more than 20 points and 10 rebounds. Still, the transition to college wasn’t quite that easy and Dickey didn’t post those numbers consistently until this year although she already has 953 career points and 606 rebounds.

“It is different because people scout you, so you have to learn other ways to score, other ways to get the ball to yourself or to other people and facilitate. People scout you and I think I learned that the hard way attacking the basket and I had to expand my game… Really just expanding my game, that’s all it took,” said Dickey, a CAA All-Defensive Team selection and second team All-CAA selection last season.

The secret to Dickey’s emergence as a college force is nothing new to her.

“It’s a lot of offseason work,” she said. “I think I took on a bigger role in scoring this year, going from like 7 points freshman year to 12 points last year and then 22 this year. I feel like getting there took a lot of work, a lot of one-on-ones with Coach Jenkins (assistant coach Sarah Jenkins), a lot of team individual work and it took a big leadership role too, because I had to learn how to not only score, but to facilitate with everyone on the floor, how to get them the ball, how to work together to get the best shot.”

Dickey said she plans to take the extra year of eligibility offered by the NCAA because of COVID-19. That works perfectly with her sports health major, a five-year program. She’s studying to become a Certified Athletic Trainer and wants to work with a college or professional team.

However, that career might have to wait a while. Dickey first wants to play professionally in the WNBA or overseas.

No. 1 Girls Basketball Guard: Dionna White, 2015, Milford Mill Academy

No. 2 Girls Basketball Guard: Nia Clouden, 2018, St. Frances Academy

No. 3 Girls Basketball Guard: Danielle Edwards, 2015, McDonogh School

No. 4 Girls Basketball Guard: Taylor Murray, 2015, Annapolis Area Christian School