Amidst cheering, hugs, passing of the 4A girls’ championship trophy, and cutting of the nets, Mead High’s Jade Redmon eventually spotted her sister, Jazmine, and her tear-covered face standing along the sideline.
Redmon has always been the little sister — always compared, always in the shadow of her sister Jazmine, a Mead alum and junior guard for the Gonzaga women’s basketball team.
But in Mead’s 58-42 victory against No. 8 Arlington in the Class 4A State Championship Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome, Jade Redmon finally accomplished what Jazmine never did in earning the trophy with the golden ball.
Did it vault her out of the shadow?
“No, not really,” said Redmon, who will play at Eastern Washington next year. “She has helped shape me into the player I am today. I still thank her for everything she has done.”
So when Redmon finally found her sister among the chaos of the post-game celebrations, it wasn’t about proving she did something Jazmine never did in winning the championship.
“When I saw her, she was just in tears, telling me how proud she was of me,” Jade Redmon said.
“People are always comparing those two, but they are totally different basketball players,” said Mead coach Quantae Anderson. “Jade has really grown into a leader, a great leader. She doesn’t like the thought of losing and our whole team felt that. She is our leader.”
Mead didn’t do that very often this year – only once back on Dec. 18 against University. The Panthers entered the championship with Arlington as the top-ranked team in the state and didn’t do anything to show they weren’t.
Arlington kept pace with Mead throughout most of the first half, despite shooting 21.1 percent from the field and committing 15 turnovers. But Redmon set Lewey up for an easy look and score underneath the basket that kickstarted an 8-0 run the final minute of the first half as the Panthers took a comfortable 29-16 lead into the break.