Woodruff Senior Reaches 1,000 Career Points
By Garrett Mitchell, Contributing Writer
Woodruff senior point guard Zavia Jeter is no stranger to the spotlight.
As a rising star on her middle school basketball teams, Jeter always showed the potential for stardom. Then, as a freshman, her star became too bright for the junior varsity team and she was called to the varsity squad for the final 16 games of the 2016-17 season.
While she contributed during the second half of her freshman campaign, for Jeter, the switch flipped in a first-round play-off game against Columbia High School. With the Lady Wolverines needing a spark, the young ninth grader reeled off 10 of her team-high 12 points that night in the second half to help Woodruff advance with a 48-30 victory.
She has never looked back.
Now, Jeter has surpassed a milestone coveted among high school basketball players across the country. Jeter surpassed the 1,000-career point threshold in the first half against Emerald in front of a packed home crowd that has grown accustomed to seeing the do-it-all point guard take over games when her team needs it the most. She becomes just the ninth player in school history to accomplish the feat and the first since Shonta Johnson in 2005.
“When I think of accomplishments, my main focus for basketball was to be the very best I could be for my team,” said Jeter. “To reach a thousand points is a great milestone and I’m humbled to be a part of such an elite group of Wolverines.”
It isn’t just the scoring that makes Jeter special. Standing at 6’0” she is tall and athletic for a point guard and is a superb rebounder, passer and lockdown defender as well.
Jeter is on pace to finish in the top five in school history in rebounds and in the top three in both assists and steals for a career. Woodruff head coach Jon Jansen, who took over the position two years ago, knew he had a special player on his hands who could help lead the Lady Wolverines to great success right out of the gate.
“Upon meeting the team after my hiring, I asked each player to give me 100 days to prove myself to them and that I would work hard for their success,” said Jansen. Zavia accepted me early in our relationship and, more importantly, was accepting of the coaching style that I provide. She would tell you that I am fair, demanding, but incredibly caring for all of my players. Zavia’s willingness to accept new leadership was pivotal for our team’s growth and success the past two seasons.”
Jeter, however, is quick to give credit to her teammates. The bond and trust among them, she says, is a catalyst hers and the team’s success.
“My teammates help to make me successful,” she said. “They have pushed me to be the player that I am. They have believed in me and trusted me to perform at the highest level and I have trusted them as well. We are stronger together.”
Jeter was given a souvenir basketball marking her achievement during a ceremony following the conclusion of the game. Beth Grant, Woodruff High School’s all-time leading scorer and three-time state championship winner, was on hand to make the presentation to Jeter, surrounded by her teammates.
With her personal accomplishment now behind her, Jeter says she is concentrating on helping the Lady Wolverines compete for a long-sought after state title. Woodruff, who sits at 19-5 on the season and in first place in Region III-3A, are currently ranked eighth in the 3A South Carolina Basketball Coaches’ Association poll and are closing in on the first region championship in girls’ basketball since 1988.
“My main focus was never to reach a thousand points,” Jeter said. “My focus was to win region championships and make it to state with my team. I wanted to make my mom proud.”
Coach Jansen knows he has a special group, led by a special talent in Jeter, and said that there is no other team that he would want to take the court with each night.
“The daily competition has created a culture of daily growth and a positive attitude hungry for great success,” he said. “I love how our team cheers for one another and the support system they have for each other in practice or games is one of the best moments of my day. My expectations for this season were high for good reason because I believe in every one of these ladies. This team is who I want to toe the line with every night. Never under estimate the heart of a Woodruff girl.”
Photo Caption: Beth Grant, Woodruff High School’s all-time leading scorer and three-time state championship winner, presents Zavia Jeter with souvenir basketball. Grant is also on The Woodruff Times staff.