“It’s not about the talent that you bring, it’s about the people person skills that you can bring, and being a good teammate.”
DePaul redshirt junior Chanise Jenkins heard this mantra during her time at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 14-17. Competing for a roster spot for the USA Basketball World University Games Team, USA coaches stressed to the 54 collegiate players they needed to be vocal leaders and have the necessary skills to compete abroad.
As it turned out, Jenkins proved to have both.
Jenkins will represent USA basketball as one of 12 players on the roster. Starting June 18, Jenkins will head back to Colorado Springs for training camp before competing with the team July 5-13 in Gwangju City, South Korea.
Jenkins will compete in the Women’s World University Games and the Pan American Games.
“It just feels amazing,” Jenkins said. “Of course, everyone dreams of representing their country. And just having the USA across my chest and I’m representing my country, it’s just so much bigger than myself. I’m just really excited to have this opportunity.”
Jenkins, who averaged 12.4 points per game and 4.5 assists this past season, is the second Blue Demon to ever make the roster. In 2011, Keisha Hampton made the team. Recently, Jenkins’ teammate Brittany Hrynko tried out for the team in 2013, but failed to make it.
The trials were a three-day try-out in which the group did skill-based drills and also learned the plays they’d be running if they were to make it. Jenkins said it was about 20 minutes of drills while the rest were scrimmages.
“It was a very competitive weekend,” Jenkins said. “You were there with some of the best players in the world right now. To be able to compete and even build friendships, it was exciting.
“I just tried my best to be the best me — be a vocal leader and uplift my teammates all around me.”
Jenkins making the roster will alter her normal plans of focusing on getting better over the summer. Usually, Jenkins returns to her old high school, Whitney Young, to practice with some of the kids on the team as well as other players from Whitney Young who went on to play in college. Jenkins said she spends all summer working out to focus on improving her weaknesses.
But this experience, obviously, will play a large role in helping shape her final DePaul season next year.
“You go and play some of the best competition in the country,” Jenkins said. “You come back and still have a pretty amazing team at DePaul. To be able to lead them there and then lead them here, I don’t think there will be that much of a difference. But I think that it will help my own confidence level to a higher place.”
The world stage should also help others notice Jenkins, who DePaul head coach Doug Bruno repeatedly calls one of the most underrated players in the country.
“Chanise’s abilities to lead, to manage a game and to just do whatever it takes is what makes her so special,” Bruno said in a press release.
“… All she ever cares about is winning. She is about the guts, not the glory, which is why her selection is such a well-deserved honor.”