Ironton#8217;s Waddle signs to play basketball at Georgetown
If a picture says a thousand words, imagine what volumes a video tape can say.
All it took to convince Georgetown College women’s basketball coach Susan Johnson that Jessica Waddle belonged on her recruiting list was a video tape.
“The first time I see a video tape it usually tells me if it is someone worth watching in person,” said Johnson. “But when I watch the video I fell in love with her right away.”
Waddle, the 5-foot-8 senior guard for the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers, fell in love with the Georgetown College Tigers as well and sealed the relationship by signing a letter-of-intent Wednesday.
“I wanted to go to a small college. The coaches interact with the players and they care about academics more than athletics,” said Waddle.
“I felt really comfortable. They like to run the kind of offense like (Ironton). I think it will be a really good fit. The only other school I considered was Rio Grande.”
Waddle also liked the idea of signing early.
“There’s less pressure on me. I think I’ll play better now knowing I’m going somewhere,” said Waddle.
Before the season, Waddle wasn’t sure is she would even be able to play at Ironton.
A freak knee injury in the Division III district semifinals last season force her to have surgery and undergo months of therapy.
“It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I thought I’d be ready in four months, but my knee wasn’t having any of it,” said Waddle.
“At one point I felt I was going backwards. After I rested it, everything came together.”
The knee injury was a concern for Johnson, but after one of her assistant coaches watched Waddle in practice her concerns were erased.
“Once she got hurt, we had to make sure she came back. I sent an assistant coach to watch her in practice and we saw there was no problem,” said Johnson.
“She fills a void. We have a senior who scores a lot of points and that’s the role we’re looking for Jessica to fill.”
Waddle, who averaged nearly 18 points last season, is closing in on 1,000 career points. She has been a second team all-district selection each of the past two seasons.
A four-year letterman and three-year starter, Waddle has scored 45 points as Ironton is off to a 2-0 start this season.
Waddle, who carries a 4.7 grade point average, plans to major in physical
Johnson said the combination of Waddle’s athletic and academic talents made her attractive.
“She fits our style and our school well. We like to recruit the whole package,” said Johnson.
Jessica is the daughter of Mary and Jeff Waddle of Ironton.