Bass stays close to home, signs with Westminster College

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville senior Jodie Bass recently signed a basketball letter of intent with Westminster College in Fulton. On hand during the signing last week at the media center at Boonville High School were (left to right) Jodie Bass, Jodie Bass and Raina Martin. (back row left to right) Boonville Athletic Director  Chris Shikles, Boonville girls basketball coach Jaryt Hunzker and Boonville Principal Tim Edwards.

Boonville senior Jodie Bass didn’t want to venture far from home knowing that her friends were close by.

So when deciding on a school to play basketball for the next four years, Bass felt Westminster College in Fulton was close enough while signing a letter of intent last week at the media center at Boonville High School.

“I chose Westminster because my friends were going for their sports and I didn’t want to leave them, so I took a closer look into the school and kind of fell in love from there,” Bass said.

Westminster College women’s basketball coach Talisha Washington is glad for one that Bass decided to stay close to home.

“Getting Jodie was huge for us,” Washington said. “Jodie has that championship mentality that we need in our program and she’s just a leader. We love her work ethic and her drive as a player, so she’s going to be really special for us. Jodie is going to fall right in probably a two or three for us at guard. 

“She could also play a little bit of the one position for us, but we know Jodie can score and she can break down defenders. She’s just unique and very versatile, so we’re going to use that to our advantage. Jodie is also going to be very big on defense for us. Just her ability to see the floor and her ability to defend was really big for us.”

Bass also came up big throughout her career for the Lady Pirates while finishing with 1,245 points for an average of 11.9 ppg along with 2.4 spg, 1.8 rpg and 1.6 apg. 

This past season as Boonville advanced throughout the postseason to eventually winning its first-ever state title,  Bass came up big time after time while closing out the season with an average of 13.6 ppg along with 3.0 spg, 2.4 rpg and 1.8 apg. She also shot 43 percent from the field, 26 percent from the three-point arc and 65 percent from the foul line.

Boonville Lady Pirates basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker will also be sad to see Bass move on to play elsewhere. After starting the last four years at Boonville, Hunziker said Bass has been a huge part of this program over the last four years as she has been a key contributor throughout.

“I have enjoyed watching Jodie develop into more of an all around player during her time playing,” Hunziker said. “Early on in her career she did a lot of her scoring out in transition by using her speed and athleticism on both ends of the court. The last couple of years, she began to be more of a threat within our half court game as well knocking down perimeter and mid-range shots along with continuing to attack the basket. 

“Westminster is getting a great and caring individual, which will help their program right away. Westminster is getting a true winner in their program, both on and off the court.”

While finishing second on the team in scoring this past season, only to Addi Brownfield, Bass said the highlight of her career no doubt was when the team went to state and ended up winning it. As far as individual highlight, she said it would be the Benton game, which was in the semifinals of the state tournament. “I thought I stepped it up a ton to help the team out,” Bass said. 

Of course Bass has been bouncing a ball pretty much her entire life. She said for the past 11 years (Bass is currently 18 now), she remembers starting out at the age of four and has been on traveling teams, middle school team, and a four-year varsity letter for high school. 

Bass has also reaped the rewards during her career in a Boonville Lady Pirate uniform, while earning all-conference three years running and all-district as a junior and senior. 

Of course Bass also knows there is room for improvement at the next level. She said she feels like she needs to improve on being more of a team leader and being louder. “I also need to work on dribbling and learning the game more,” Bass said. 

As for her short and long term goals while at Westminster, Bass said a big short term goal for her is to either start or become a sixth or seventh player off the bench. Another short term goal she said for this year would be not only scoring but getting her rebounds and assists up to help the team out more.

“My long term goal would be to play all four years at Westminster and win conference like they did this year,” Bass said. 

Although Bass wound up selecting Westminster as her destination college, she said was also looking at the University of St. Mary’s. She said St. Mary’s offered her track but she wanted to go to college for basketball and then they were interested in her playing basketball as well. 

“I was also looking at CMU for either track or basketball,” Bass said. “Then, for a little bit, I wanted to go far away so I looked at South Dakota Wesleyan for basketball. But those schools just didn’t feel right. 

“My best friend, which is now going to be my roommate in the fall, told me to apply at Westminster and I approached the coach and they already knew who I was but never reached out because they thought I was going to college for track. I sent them my film and they automatically got me on a visit.”

Looking back at her career at Boonville, Bass said she is going to miss playing basketball at Boonville in the environment. 

“I think that’s what I am going to miss the most,” Bass said. “We always had such a big crowd anytime whether it was away or home. I will also miss the endless support that we received, especially when we went three hours to play at state and we still had a larger crowd than both the Benton and Mount Vernon teams.”

Although Bass accomplished more in four years than a lot of players accomplish in a lifetime, she said she fell short on being selected to the all-state team. 

“I knew that my senior was a big way I could accomplish this and still fell short,” Bass said.

As for the person that gives her the most influence in basketball, she said it would have to be Michael Jordan because she remembers when the “Last Dance” came out. “My dad and I watched it every Sunday and when a new episode came out I could see all of his struggles that he went through and how he overcame it. It made me want to become stronger and improve my game,” Bass said.