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Williamstown’s Jayla Wiseman to hoop at Bethany College

Times file photo Williamstown’s Jayla Wiseman (22) looks to pass as Belpre’s Halee Williams defends during a high school girls basketball game last season.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Jayla Wiseman announced this week she will continue her career as a student-athlete for Division III Bethany College head women’s basketball coach Brian Sansom and the Bison.

The Williamstown senior, who was a Class A honorable mention all-stater as well as a first team member of the all-Little Kanawha Conference team, averaged nearly 11 points to go along with 5.6 rebounds, not quite two assists, better than 1.5 steals and almost a block an outing last year.

“I talked to a few schools. Bethany was always the one I liked the most,” said Wiseman, who carries a better than 3.9 GPA and plans to perhaps major in psychology with an eye toward being a social worker. “When I was on the visit and met the coach and some of the girls on the team they were so nice and really awesome.

“A few reached out to me after the visit and asked me if I had any questions about the program. When I posted I committed (on social media) a lot of them replied to it and said welcome to the family. It was really nice. It’s a cool, awesome feeling. I’m not even at the school yet and I’m excited to play for him.”

Yellowjacket veteran boss Fred Sauro is sure glad to have Wiseman’s services for one more year.

“I coached that little girl when she was in the fourth grade. I had her on my elementary school basketball team,” Sauro said. “You could tell she had some athletic ability. She was hungry and really wanted to play.”

Coach Sauro said Wiseman has really worked hard in the weight room during the offseason and he’s anxious to see how her senior campaign will go.

“She is a class kid, very personable, very encouraging and highly skilled,” added the coach. “Her footwork in the post, there’s not many better. She has really good footwork in the post. There are kids who are bigger and stronger, but her footwork is really good. What she’s done over this offseason she’s learned how to shoot the 3.

“If she puts her mind to something she can really improve. Her driving game to the basket and things like that, there are things she needs to work on. She can take it to the hole. She can play well from the high post and the low post. She’s skilled and her footwork is the thing that’s really, really good.”

Wiseman gave credit to Mid-Ohio Valley Dragons head coach Brett Cowdery for helping in her recruitment.

“A lot of fans and scouts weren’t able to come to tournaments this year. He (Sansom) talked to my coach and gave me his number and we started talking,” said the ‘Jacket. “He was just talking about how he thinks I could play different spots on the court and how he really liked my style of game when he watched me play. He told me he was only looking to recruit about three people from my class and he wanted me to be one of them and that made me feel pretty proud.”

Aside from Bethany, the only other campus Wiseman visited was Heidelberg University.

The Yellowjacket said she knows former Warren Warrior Molly Grayson, who is a freshman guard for the Bison.

“I’m excited to meet new people and go do something new,” she said. “It’s two hours away from the house. It’s a good distance. It’s not too far away, but it’s far enough. I always wanted to play college basketball. I’m so excited and really grateful to have the opportunity.”

Wiseman might be looking forward to college, but she’s definitely ready for her final campaign as a Yellowjacket.

“Coach has given me nothing but confidence since I ever knew him,” Wiseman added. “He’s a really great coach and always wants the best for me and goes out of his way just to celebrate us when we get an accomplishment. All my teammates, of course, are awesome and I love playing with them.

“All my teachers are great. I don’t hate going to school or anything and I can ask them for help. I’m really grateful to the community, for sure, as a whole. It sucks to wait so long. As long as we get a shot to play, better than nothing. Pretty much my mindset.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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