Half a decade since she last returned to her hometown of Broken Hill, US college basketballer Jasmine Simmons has tied up her laces once more.
- Jasmine Simmons captained the Australian team to an Under 17 world championship
- The 22-year-old is being pursued by three AFLW clubs for the upcoming season
- If she signs, Simmons would be Broken Hill’s second AFLW player
But this time she has swapped the Air Jordans for some footy boots, and her usual basketball for the Sherrin.
Simmons, a former captain of the junior national basketball team, showcased her football skills on the same ground on which Broken Hill’s first AFLW footballer, Tarnee Tester, got her start.
And judging by the 22-year-old’s display of athleticism and versatility, it could be the precursor for an upcoming swap in sporting codes.
“I’m potentially going to be playing AFLW this season … that’s in the works at the moment,” Simmons said, who grew up playing football in the Silver City.
How playing in US has helped
The talented youngster believes her three years playing point guard for Oregon State University have toughed her up and prepared her for football.
“You learn about physicality of the game … but also the mental toughness that you need because you’re training every single day,” she said.
It’s believed three clubs are vying for the signature of the junior world champion captain including the Adelaide Crows, North Melbourne and the Richmond Tigers.
The journey back to footy
Having arrived back from the US two months ago, after playing 20 games for Oregon, Simmons has been slowly reintroducing herself to football.
She said she couldn’t miss a chance to visit her home and put on her old team colours.
“I just wanted to come down and play … and I was like ‘crap I actually miss playing footy’, and then the opportunity was to play here and I thought why not?
Putting her old colours back on
Having grown up playing footy in Broken Hill, Simmons said it meant a lot to be back in her old colours after four or five years off the field.
“I’m so excited to be back. It’s been a little while …. but it’s so nice to put the Doggies colours back on,” she said.
Despite interest from a number of AFLW clubs, the pacey point guard is by no means turning her back on the sport she represented the nation in.
Instead, the talented sportswoman is planning to play both for Ballarat in the NBL1 while trying her hand at footy, and see where that takes her.
“Basketball is the long-term plan, yes. That’s obviously my pathway and I love doing it but I might be in for a change-up in the short term.”