Player Review 2013: Jasmine Hassell
By Wheat Hotchkiss | November 12, 2013
Height: 6-2 Position: Forward Age: 22 Years Pro: 1 College: Georgia Key Stats: The Feverís second-round draft choice, Hassell spent three stints with Indiana and one with the Seattle Storm. In 18 regular season games with the Fever, she averaged 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds in 8.5 minutes per game. The rookie also appeared in four games with the Storm, playing just nine minutes total.
Itís safe to say Jasmine Hassell made the most of her first season in the WNBA. Perhaps no player had a crazier six months than the 6-2 rookie out of Georgia.
A quick recap:
- The Indiana Fever drafted Hassell with the 21st overall pick in the second round of the WNBA Draft on April 16.
- After going through training camp and playing in both preseason games, Hassell was waived May 22, two days before the start of the regular season.
- The Fever claimed her off waivers on May 24 as a replacement player to play in Indianaís regular season opener while first round pick Layshia Clarendon attended her college graduation. Her contract was terminated the next day.
- Hassell returned to the Fever on June 21, signing as a replacement player while Katie Douglas missed time with a bulging disc in her lower back. She appeared in 11 of the teamís next 12 games.
- The Fever waived Hassell on Aug. 2, when Jeanette Pohlen returned from her knee injury.
- Hassell signed three 7-day contracts with the Seattle Storm, appearing in four of seven games.
- The Fever scooped up Hassell once again when she became available, waiving second-year forward Sasha Goodlett and signing Hassell to a remainder-of-season contract on Aug. 27.
- Hassell etched her name in the Fever record books, becoming the first player to wear two different jersey numbers in the same season (she wore 12 in two of her stints with the team and 21 in one).
Get all that?
A late second-round draft pick by the reigning WNBA champions, Hassell faced an uphill battle just to make the team. Fever president and general manager Kelly Krauskopf said on draft night that Hassell possessed the tools to make it in the league, but Indiana returned practically its entire roster from its title-winning team.
Given WNBA roster limitations, making any team is a triumph when drafted that late. Of the final 17 players picked in the 2013 Draft, only five appeared in a regular season game (interestingly, three of them Ė Hassell, Jasmine James, and Anne Marie Armstrong Ė attended the University of Georgia).
But the Feverís numerous injuries helped Hassell find a role with Indiana, earning a brief and then a prolonged stint with the team as a replacement player. In that time, she made some key contributions.
PHOTO GALLERY: Jasmine Hassell Season Gallery Ľ
She scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds on June 25 against Atlanta in just her third professional game. She played 24 minutes in a 74-53 win over New York on July 13.
Hassell showed enough promise in her limited time for Seattle to scoop her up for a three-week trial, though she played sparingly. When the Storm let her go, the Fever showed even more faith in Hassell by signing her for the rest of the season (and opting to release Goodlett, last yearís first-round draft pick, in the process).
Hassell continued to get opportunities in the regular season. With several players resting in the regular season finale, Hassell scored a career-high nine points in 26 minutes against Connecticut on Sept. 15.
Hassellís on-court contributions might have been limited, but the rookie forward was a valuable member of the Eastern Conference finalists. In practice, she hustled and tussled in the post with Erlana Larkins and Tamika Catchings, giving the Fever starters a worthy challenge to prepare for the weekís opponents. After practice, Hassell was almost always one of the last players to leave the floor, staying late to work on post moves or shoot free throws.
ďItís a blessing,Ē Hassell said of her experience. ďA lot of people donít get to (play in the WNBA). I got to play on two different WNBA teams, not just one. Iíve learned a lot. I got to play with Tina Thompson (the WNBAís all-time leading scorer and Hassellís teammate in Seattle) Ė it was her last year, thatís pretty cool. And Iíve got to play with Tamika Catchings. Itís amazing.Ē
Despite her progress over the season, Hassell was too raw to see the court much in the postseason. She played 11 minutes of mostly mop-up time in the Feverís two blowout wins in the first round, and saw the court for just 1:19 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
As she fights to stick in the league next season, Hassell knows thereís plenty of room for improvement. She said she hopes to work on her face-up offensive game over the winter. She seems to be off to a successful start Ė averaging 18.5 points and 12 rebounds through her first two games overseas with Elitzur Netanya in the Israeli League.
Whatever happens next season, Hassell proved this year that she has what it takes to play in the WNBA.
FeverBasketball.com is doing Player Reviews for each player on the 2013 Indiana Fever. Check out other stories from this series:
Player Review 2013: Shavonte Zellous Player Review 2013: Erlana Larkins Player Review 2013: Layshia Clarendon Player Review 2013: Karima Christmas Player Review 2013: Erin Phillips Player Review 2013: Briann January Player Review 2013: Katie Douglas Player Review 2013: Tamika Catchings Player Review 2013: Jeanette Pohlen