Simmons commits to Troy University


Brandon Dyer

Getting ready for practice, sophomore Jashanti Simmons looks to lead the Lady Chargers to another successful season

Lady Chargers guard, Jashanti Simmons, has committed to Troy University for the 2022-2023 basketball season.

Simmons will take the floor for a second season at Georgia Highlands with a boost of confidence.

After all, not everybody gets to say that they were the GCAA player of the year, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve known that I wanted to play basketball since I was four years old,” said Simmons in her interview on the Post Buzzer Podcast on Sept. 30.

Over the next decade, Simmons worked on her skills. By the time she was a sophomore at Putnam High School, she led the War Eagles in points, assists, steals and blocks. The War Eagles would make the state playoffs, but lose in the first round to the Model Blue Devils.

Simmons would post better numbers the following season, but again the War Eagles would lose in the first round of the state playoffs – this time to the Elbert County Blue Devils.

Her senior season, Simmons led the War Eagles to a 23-5 record, picking up their first playoff win in three years. Simmons stepped up and posted a double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the contest.

That would be the first and only playoff win of Simmons’ high school career.

Her performance that season was good enough to net her the Region 8AA MVP, averaging 22 points per game to go along with five steals per game.

Simmons ended her high school career with over 1,500 points, something that she said she sees as her biggest accomplishment.
Three months after her second-round playoff loss, Simmons made the decision to join Head Coach Brandan Harrell and assistant coach Nae Nae Saxton.

“Coming out of high school, I didn’t get any big offers or people looking at me. Georgia Highlands stood out to me with the basketball program,” Simmons said.

The guard from Eatonton, Georgia came to Georgia Highlands last year for her first step into collegiate basketball and wasted no time making an impact for the Lady Chargers by leading them in points in her first game, with 17.

Simmons would go on to have a remarkable freshman campaign for the Lady Chargers, leading the team in points and steals.

The Lady Chargers would go on to win 19 of their 21 regular season games, winning the regular season region title and home court advantage in the NJCAA region 17 tournament, even getting as high as 13 in the NJCAA national rankings.

After an overtime loss in the region 17 tournament to South Georgia Technical College, Simmons and the rest of the Lady Chargers waited on selection day to see if they had proved themselves worthy of participating in the NJCAA national tournament.

As the selections were being made and matchups being set up, the Lady Chargers heard their school’s name called, clinching the 13 seed and being matched up against the Southern Idaho Golden Eagles.

Simmons stepped up again by leading the Lady Chargers in scoring with 16 points, but most importantly, a win.

“[the win] felt great, even though we lost our second game of the tournament,” Simmons said.

The awards came pouring in for Simmons after that, winning the GCAA freshman of the year award, that was quickly overshadowed when she was announced the 2021 GCAA player of the year.

Simmons had a tough decision to make as the offers came over the summer. Three offers stood out to her: Georgia Southern, Austin Peavy and Troy.

After a long time of thinking about where she would continue her collegiate basketball career, Simmons chose Troy University.

“I wanted to go somewhere I was respected and had a great scholarship where players graduated on time,” said Simmons.

Simmons will be joining the Lady Chargers for the 2021-2022 season as she prepares herself for the competition that she will be facing at Troy.

While she is excited about joining Troy next year, Simmons spoke highly of the coaching staff at GHC, “The relationship with the players and coaches have been great. We have our ups and downs, but at the end of the day, it’s all love,” said Simmons