Versatility is Jensen’s middle name

Positions on the basketball court have specific duties. Point guards handle the ball. Shooting guards score. Centers rebound. Senior forward Sammie Jensen does them all.

She described herself as “very active” in her childhood, playing two sports religiously.

“People always asked me ‘what is my favorite sport’? Soccer? Basketball? And it just depended on what season I was in,” Jensen said.

Through elementary school and junior high, Jensen split time between playing shooting guard on her basketball team and playing soccer.

It wasn’t until some poor planning by a high school coach opened up the possibility of playing basketball full time.

“We had 10 people graduate on my soccer team my sophomore year,” Jensen said. “I was like, ‘oh well, I will just play basketball.’ Then I started playing AAU ball and it became year round, not just during the season.”

Ever since then, she has become one of the most versatile players in the country.

Jensen currently leads the nation in double doubles with seven on the season. She is in the top 10 in the country for rebounds and ranks in the top 100 for scoring as well. Not to mention she won GWC player of the year last year and is on pace to repeat.

How did she get so versatile?

“My junior year I got moved to the four and figured out I could rebound,” Jensen said. “I was like, ‘oh my gosh I can rebound now.’ I didn’t even start playing that position until my junior year of high school.”

A couple weeks ago, during an interview with Jensen before embarking on a road trip to the Midwest, a UVU reporter was struggling to clear space on his phone to record the interview. Jensen gave the reporter a hard time, recommending a bigger phone for interviews. In an attempt to stall, the reporter asked Jensen what she was doing after practice. She told the reporter she did homework every night until about 10 p.m.

So, does Jensen still do homework every night?

“Oh yeah,” Jensen said laughing. “I still do that.”

Most people think that being a collegiate athlete is all fun and games. Jensen tells a different story.

“It’s a lot of studying,” said Jensen who majors in pre-med and biology. “You are just busy constantly. You’re in practice, you’re watching film or doing homework or going to class. You’re just always busy.”

That doesn’t leave much time for being social.

“We don’t have a social life,” Jensen said. “We are each other’s social life.”

College basketball players do have some down time however.

“Normally we [other players on the team] will just chill on the couch,” Jensen said. “We are so tired from the day. We don’t even have a spare hour.”

With only one year of eligibility left before she hits the books hard in an attempt for a medical degree, she wants to play hard and enjoy her final season.

“Playing basketball is fun,” Jensen said. “It’s my last year and I don’t want to have any regrets obviously because I can’t come back.”

Versatile is something that Jensen has always been, and from the looks of it, probably will be forever.

Leave a Reply