Hamilton, ON- When the ball left her hands and her jump shot clanked off the rim and in, Jocelyn Newby had done it. The McMaster Marauders women’s basketball guard scored her first regular season points in a 66-53 victory over the Brock Badgers on Nov. 19.
“That was awesome,” Newby said. The Guelph native played in the preseason and earlier in the regular season. She scored her first points in an exhibition game against Fanshawe College. Now she has her first regular season ones.
Newby played eight minutes coming off the bench as McMaster got out to a sizable early lead with a barrage of threes.
With that lead, more players saw the court – twelve in total. McMaster head coach Theresa Burns called the experience huge for Newby.
“When you get that chance as a rookie to get out there on the floor, I mean every minute’s valuable,” Burns said. “When good things happen for you like that, it’s such a confident boost.”
In front of arguably their largest and noisiest t home crowd of the season, Newby scored again later in the game (for a career-high four points) and added two rebounds and one assist.
When she scored her first basket, her teammates on the bench erupted in applause. When she took a charge, they erupted in applause again.
“Really proud of her tonight,” Burns noted. “Taking the charge has been a bit of a theme on our team for a while so to see the rook step up and do it is pretty special.”
Newby committed to McMaster this February and is the only first-year player on the team. She said her teammates have been super inviting and welcoming.
They’ve helped her with her confidence. “I know they always have trust in me and if I make mistakes, they’re always going to pick me back up,” she said.
Newby played her high school basketball at Centennial Collegiate and her club basketball with Tri-Country Soldiers. She said she came to McMaster because she loves the coaching staff and feels it’s where she can grow and develop the most.
Part of that development comes from hard work. Burns said she’s “worked her tail off.” Burns sees her great shooting in practice. The next step in taking that into games – where there’s more pressure and she has to get her shot off quicker.
“You need the minutes in practice. You need the reps in practice to find your poise and find that calm with the ball,” Burns added. “I thought she showed a little bit of that tonight and that’s just going to keep improving and keep growing as the year goes along.”
Newby said confidence is something she’s working on. “Making sure I know what I’m doing,” she added. “Even if it’s not the right decision, that I have confidence in what I’m doing.”
She has a quiet demeanor and personality. She said her teammates encourage her to start talking more.
“She’s probably the most quiet person I know,” Marauders forward Cassie Joli-Coeur noted. “That’s coming from a quiet person myself.”
That quiet persona has benefits. Newby said she’s able to focus and really concentrate on what she’s doing and pick things apart. Joli-Couer said Newby knows her strengths and sticks to it.
“That’s very admirable coming from a first year,” Joli-Coeur added. “Coming into the team and knowing what her role is. It’s been incredible to see so far.”
Newby said her transition to university overall has been a lot of work but also a lot of excitement. The life sciences student said basketball provides a reprieve when her schoolwork is difficult or frustrating.
After the game, she celebrated with her family. They have supported her by coming to as many games as they can.
Her whole family made the trip to the nation’s capital when McMaster opened the season against Ottawa Carleton as Newby made her regular season debut. They made the trip to McMaster to see her against Brock – where she made personal history.
“Even when I don’t get in [the game], it’s nice to see them in the crowd,” Newby said. “Knowing that they support me no matter what, it’s been super awesome.”
Featured Image: Marisa Settimi/McMaster Athletics