‘An outstanding show of sportsmanship’

You are currently viewing ‘An outstanding show of sportsmanship’
Kerri Jennings with her parents Colleen and Brian was gifted one last chance to play and score on Granville Girls Basketball Senior Night. (Photo by Paige Taylor)

If you have been to a Granville home basketball game or wrestling meet this winter you are bound to have seen Kerri Jennings. Jennings, a senior at Granville High School might be belting out a powerful rendition of the National Anthem, taking action shots of the Golden Horde athletes with her camera, or cheering in the stands with the vocal Granville student section. 

The one place you would not have seen her is on the court. Until Friday night that is. Jennings usually is a member of the Golden Horde girls soccer and basketball teams. This year due to a history of concussions she was not allowed to play. 

“Leading up to this season I had done a lot of work with my physical therapist, who is absolutely fantastic, and had to stop playing soccer to be sure I had a basketball season due to so many previous concussions,” Jennings explained. “So when things went wrong one week at practice and I was told I wouldn’t be able to play this season I was absolutely crushed.” 

Jennings has remained a big part of the Granville athletic programs, but being not able to play in her senior year has been difficult. 

“This was the season I was most looking forward to being that it was my senior year,” Jennings added. “I can’t put into words how badly I’ve wanted to play.” 

At the Senior Night game against Fort Ann Jennings was fortunate enough to take the court in the blue and gold one last time, but it turned out to be even more than she expected. 

“She was cleared by her doctors for a limited amount of time for the game,” Granville coach Dan Brown said. “I started her for a minute and then called a time out to sub for her.” 

With Granville cruising to an easy victory, Fort Ann coach Kate White came over and asked Brown if he would like to see Jennings come back in the game and score a basket. 

“With three minutes to go in the game the Fort Ann coach came over to me and said if you want to put her back in to score we will help you out,” Brown said. 

Jennings did just that. She came back on the floor and with the help of her teammates and the visiting Cardinals scored one last basket for her career. 

“It was the most outstanding show of sportsmanship by the Fort Ann coaches and players. It brought a tear to this old coach’s eye,” Brown admitted. “An unbelievable gesture. That is what it’s all about.” 

Jennings is extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to lace up the sneakers and hit the court one last time. Scoring two points was the icing on the cake. 

“I am very fortunate to have so many people in my corner who want the best for me and helped me to not only get better but get on the court one last time,” Jennings said. 

The list of who Jennings has to thank for getting through this difficult time is a long one. 

“I have an incredible coach and team who’ve kept me involved in everything and fantastic friends and family supporting me along the way,” Jennings added.  And the sportsmanship the Fort Ann team showed me is something I’ll never forget,” Jennings added. 

So next time you are at a Granville winter sports contest, keep your eyes peeled. Kerri Jennings will likely be there. She may be singing the “Star Spangled Banner,” taking some action shots, or shouting “you can’t do that,” while dressed in whatever outfit is the theme for the night for the Golden Horde student section. 

The one place you won’t see her is on the court, but that’s okay. Jennings will always have the memory of her one last game and basket.