ELIZABETHTOWN — Two former Lady Eagles were honored between games of the East Bladen Holiday Classic on Monday, as jersey number 20 was retired by the athletics department.
That number was worn by sisters JaToya Kemp and Jazmine Kemp, sisters who helped lead the Lady Eagles to state championship games and put together high-school careers that were filled with accolades and solid statistics.
“Our program was very fortunate to have both of them,” East Bladen Athletics Director Patty Evers, who coached both players, said. “First and foremost, they both were very dedicated and loved their teammates. It was never about them. They helped give East Bladen recognition around the state and it was their passion and love for the game that began the several regional and state championship appearances.”
JaToya Kemp graduated from East Bladen in 2007. During her career with the Lady Eagles she scored 1,636 points, pulled down 810 rebounds, had 349 assists, 424 steals and 94 blocked shots. She was a first-team all-conference player three times and was tabbed an all-state player once. She was an East Region MVP and won a state championship game Outstanding Player Award. Kemp also received numerous accolades from newspapers in Fayetteville and Wilmington, as well as from the North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association.
After graduating with a 4.0 GPA, JaYoya played basketball at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where she scored 1,310 points, grabbed 740 rebounds, had 118 steals, 86 assists and 78 blocked shots.
Jazmine Kemp graduated from East Bladen in 2011 and played on Lady Eagles teams that went to three straight state championships. During her career she scored 1,514 points, grabbed 678 rebounds, had 384 assists and 346 steals. She was also a first-team all-conference player all four years, and was tabbed all-state and an East Region MVP — along with receiving accolades from newspapers in Fayetteville and Wilmington, as well as from the North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association.
After graduating with a 4.0 GPA, Jazmine played basketball for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where she scored 1,172 points, grabbed 721 rebounds and had 110 steals, 287 assists and 60 blocked shots.
“It was a great honor to coach these two girls for eight years,” Evers said. “Not only were they tremendous student-athletes, but great teammates with much character. They both were part of building the foundation of our girls’ basketball program with hard work and discipline.
“Their leadership in practices and games spoke volumes of who they are,” she added. “They brought laughter and joy to the locker room and were very compassionate in everyday life, which carried over to their love of basketball. I couldn’t be any prouder of them for what they accomplished at UNCP and there was never a doubt that they wouldn’t succeed at the college level.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.