Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Been there, seen that - and a lot worse, too

In an earlier post, we likened Xavier's Dee Dee Jernigan missing the two layups at the end of Monday night's Elite Eight game against Stanford to Duke's Lindsey Harding bricking the two free throws at the end of the Blue Devils' one-point loss to Rutgers in the Sweet 16 in 2007. Well, Jernigan knows all about that sequence - as a freshman for the Scarlet Knights, Jernigan watched the entire thing from the Rutgers bench at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Jernigan's backstory is fascinating - and tragic. She was a McDonald's All-American. Her single mother died after a four-year battle with breast cancer when Jernigan was still a senior in high school, leaving Jernigan without a home address for several months. She committed to Purdue, then was granted a release when coach Kristy Curry left for Texas Tech. She endured the whole Don Imus circus and played sparingly at Rutgers, then transferred and spent a season ballin' for Wabash Valley College in Illinois before moving on to Xavier in 2008.

If anyone can put the two missed layups in perspective, it's this kid.

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