Throughout her time at Texas A&M, women’s basketball senior guard Jasmine Williams developed a passion for strengthening women’s representation in athletics programs.
However, it took a while for her to get there. When she joined the team as a freshman in the fall of 2016, Williams said she wasn’t comfortable enough to immediately take on a leadership position.
“When I was a freshman, I wouldn't classify myself as a vocal leader,” Williams said. “I had leadership abilities and I knew how to guide a team, but I never played the ultimate leadership role.”
Under head coach Gary Blair, Williams said she grew into a leader among her teammates.
“Over my four years at A&M, I came into my voice,” Williams said. “I learned how to speak to different people in different situations more effectively. I think my leadership skills just grew exponentially over the past four years.”
Now a senior, Williams has developed a passion toward fighting for women’s representation in sports, despite a hesitancy going into college.
“Coming into College Station, my goal was to just have a good time.” Williams said. “I knew that it was something that I was passionate about, but it was not something that I was looking to be a part of. But in multiple instances in my college career, hearing comments of women being less than men or attendance being less than men put fuel into that fire.”
Upon graduating with a degree in finance, Williams said she plans to spend her career outside of basketball campaigning for women’s rights in athletics.
“It's trending in the right direction as far as how the regular casual sports viewer perceives women in sports, but I want to be a part of the movement to completely shift into the respect that men get,” Williams said. “I want to show that women not only can compete at [a man’s] level, but also put in the same, if not more, amount of work and sacrifice for these sports that they'd love.”
Through outreach, Williams said she hopes to inspire young girls to pursue professional sports careers.
“My long term goal is to have a young girl dream of being in the WNBA, the women's national soccer league, whatever in America and internationally, and be able to make a full time career off of that,” Williams said. “Just like men in athletics, I want women to be able to dream from a young age that they can be a professional athlete and not have to have any type of supplemental income.”
One of the additional ceremonies Williams said she has loved being able to be a part of is speaking at a variety of donor events for the women's basketball team. Being able to represent her team to donors, Williams said that she loves showing a different aspect of the student athlete experience.
“[Boosters] support us day in and day out, so to be able to stand up there and represent not only my team and the student-athlete body, but also those supporters of athletics, represent them in such a professional and poised manner is something that I take pride in,” Williams said.
To those who support A&M, Williams said she appreciates their support for Aggie athletes over the years and hopes to hear from them as she graduates.
“I really appreciate the supporters and the donors,” Williams said. “I want them to know specifically that I'm not done with them, and I will be calling their phone for help, along the way. Just a true thank you and farewell to the supporters, and I'll see you guys at a game in the future.”