AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Jada Torrence is the star of Palo Duro girls basketball.
She’s in her third season as a member of the varsity team. Head coach AJ Johnson knows how important having her as a consistent presence has been to the program.
“Jada is pretty committed. She’s pretty dedicated to what we’ve done.” Coach Johnson said of his senior forward. “She’s been here everyday, she works hard and she shows up the next day ready to go again. As a team, we really need her. She’s that post presence. She means quite a bit to our program because without her, I feel like our foundation wouldn’t be quite as strong as it is.”
Now a senior, Torrence is taking on a new responsibility as an emotional leader. She’s helping the young talent on Palo Duro’s roster get accustomed to one of the best basketball districts in Texas.
“I kind of try to be a motivator.” Torrence said of her relationship with her teammates. “Just have everybody be calm. Our first district game, everybody was kind of nervous. I just wanted to get them relaxed.”
After this year, Torrence is hoping to take her game to the collegiate level. Getting there has it’s physical and mental challenges. Luckily, she’s always been able to rely on her coach for support.
“Just being that mentor for her. Somebody that she can talk to when she has questions.” Coach Johnson said of his role in Torrence’s college search. “I think it was maybe a couple nights ago that she called me and said, ‘Coach, I got this coach calling me from Murray State and I want to know what kind of questions he’s going to ask so I can be prepared for it.’ She’s really looking forward to going to college, but she’s kind of nervous because she’s starting to get some attention now. She doesn’t really know what to expect, but she’s dealing with it pretty good.”
One thing is very clear, the bond between Torrence and her coach is very special. When I moved back for my freshman year, I always wanted to come back and play for Coach Johnson. So, it was just good coming back knowing I was going to play for him.”
With that continued effort that Coach Johnson praised, Torrence’s basketball playing days will very likely extend into college.
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