The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Iowa State is ranked 20th. The Cyclones are unranked in the Associated Press Top 25, but is ranked No. 20 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll, which the CU Independent does not use. 1/16/10; 11:39
Anyone with a keen eye for basketball can see what an asset freshman guard Chucky Jeffery is to the Colorado Buffaloes women’s basketball team.
But if someone looks a little bit longer and a little bit closer, they will see Jeffery as an up-and-coming star who’s full of life and all-around talent.
Fresh off being named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Week for games played Jan. 4-10 against Yale and Missouri, Jeffery is ready to put her height (5-feet, 10-inches) and court vision into action in her third Big 12 Conference game against the No. 20 Iowa State Cyclones at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Coors Events Center.
As far as her honor is concerned, she said it came as a surprise.
“It feels really good,” Jeffery said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all. I just come out and play, you know. So when I got it, I was really excited.”
During that week, Jeffery averaged 15.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 5.0 steals per game.
Jeffery is already raking in the stats this season, averaging 9.4 ppg and 2.5 steals per game. Furthermore, she’s shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 73.2 percent from the free-throw line.
“I think so far, I’ve been playing my part,” Jeffery said. “I mean some games I do really good. Some games, you know, I’m not always the top scorer or anything, but I work as hard as I can. I think that I’m doing pretty good for a freshman.”
Even with her impressive numbers, Jeffery is still working on her shot and said she is feeling more comfortable driving towards the bucket.
She’s a good player and is willing to improve, but what about looking at her more deeply?
Jeffery, an avid drawer, has not only begun to draw defenders to her, but also draws tattoos.
If one looks closely when she’s making a jump shot, they can spot some other “J’s.” Chucky, whose birth name is Janeesa, has the letters on the back of her arm to symbolize her initials.
She also dons some important mantras on her upper arms: “Only the Strong Survive.”
“I got this my senior year of high school,” Jeffery said. “Even when I was little, I always watched Allen Iverson and he was one of my favorite players. I think that he gets through a lot. So this is like one of my mottos of life, ‘Only the Strong Survive.’ The weak, they’re giving up. That’s why I got this tattoo.”
This motto is significant as Jeffery heads into the toughest battle of the season — Big 12 play.
Head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said she knows how important the mentality of working hard is for a team when facing conference opponents.
“Mentally, I think [Jeffery and freshman Meagan Malcom-Peck] are just going to have to adjust to the fact that when they’re home it’s a battle every single night, and when they’re on the road, it’s an even tougher battle,” McConnell-Miller said.
As far as the upcoming battles are concerned, Jeffery is prepared to “hold her own,” just as the tattoo that she drew for her right arm of a hand grasping a basketball reads.
“That just means that every time I get on the court I hold my ground,” Jeffery said. “I don’t let anybody take me out of my game.”
As far as a new tattoo, she’s still thinking about that one.
“Oh man, I’ve been thinking about it lately, but I’m going to get my mother’s name [Alana] across my back,” Jeffery said. “I don’t know, we’ll see about that one, but I’m working on it.”
If her next four years continue as her first year has started, maybe she’ll consider another Iverson-inspired ink: “CO’s finest.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Marlee Horn at Marlee.Horn@colorado.edu.