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Lexington's Carter signs with College of Charleston

Lexington’s Jasmine Carter prepares to shoot a turn-around jump shot during a game last season. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

When Jasmine Carter walked onto the Lexington campus, a Yellow Jacket girl signing a college scholarship seemed far-fetched, to say the least.

Carter changed all of that, and she completed the turnaround Wednesday.

A senior post player, Carter signed a full scholarship to play basketball at College of Charleston. She can enjoy her final season with the Yellow Jackets worrying simply about school and trying to win a Central Carolina Conference championship; the college choice is behind her.

With Long Island, High Point, Appalachian State and a host of others knocking on her door, the Cougars didn’t take long to jump to the front of her list. “I talked to the coach (Natasha Adair), and we really hit it off as soon as we talked on the phone,” Carter said.

“She asked me to come down and visit, and I said ‘OK.’

“We went down for a visit, and I immediately fell in love with the campus, I fell in love with the team, and I fell in love with the coaches. The school will help with my academics and what I want to do, which is sports medicine.”

For the past three years, Carter has transformed the Yellow Jackets from perennial league doormat to a perennial league championship contender.

Lexington coach Lamont Johnson gave Carter plenty of credit for that transformation, and is excited about the Jackets’ future.

“That’s a huge accomplishment for her and the program, and it speaks volumes about where we’re headed,” Johnson said. “I think it will get more exposure for our other young ladies, by her signing to go play at a top program like College of Charleston — free, I might add.”

Carter averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Jackets as a junior. She echoed her coach’s sentiments about how far the Jackets have come since she got there. “My freshman year, no one then had any idea how far the program would go,” she said.

“We slowly improved my freshman year, and now we’re going to the playoffs. It’s great.”

Johnson knew that was a possibility when the head coaching job came open after Carter’s first season. “When the job came open, she was one of the main reasons I wanted it,” he said. “I knew that she could make the players around her better.

“She’s done a tremendous job for Lexington Senior High School women’s basketball program. And I hope she does more this year.”

Carter is certainly going to do all she can to make sure she’s not the last Jacket to move on to bigger and better things at the next level. “It means a lot to me and my family, but I think it means more to my school,” she said. “We haven’t had a girl sign to go play a sport in a very long time.

“So for me to sign, it shows my peers that it’s OK for us to play sports, and us females can sign just as well as the guys.”

College of Charleston plays in Southern Conference; this is Adair’s first season.

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220 or