The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Women’s Basketball: Sophomore Janae Sharpe leads team on and off court

Sophomore Janae Sharpe carried much of the offensive load last season averaging 11.4 points, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals. Photo credit: Loren Townsley / Photo Editor


CSUN guard Janae Sharpe has a backup plan just in case basketball doesn’t work out for her.

But after being named Big West Freshman of the Year last season and earning preseason All-Conference team honors, that plan is looking more and more like the retirement kind.

Outside of averaging 11.4 points, 4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.9 steals per game as a freshman, Sharpe, who recently went from an undecided major to focusing on family studies, has goals of running a daycare service, citing her family as a big influence.

“I think it kind of runs in the family,” said Sharpe’s older sister Jazmyne, noting that her mother and her other sisters like interacting with children, but that kids particularly like Janae.

But it’s not just kids. What makes Sharpe stand out might be her “goofy” personality, a reason why she is a hit with her other family — her 12 sisters on the court.

“When we’re tired – here practicing at 6 (a.m.) – she can walk in the gym and make us all laugh,” said teammate Haley White, crediting Sharpe for having a knack for finding humor in unexpected circumstances, something that hasn’t been lost on Head Coach Jason Flowers.

“There are a lot of demands as far as pressures and stress on student athletes,” Flowers said. “Anytime you have people that other people like being around it just helps team chemistry and just helps with the mood of the team overall.”

“I think where it helps her most probably is at the end of games when other people feel pressure, she doesn’t,” he continued. “She likes those situations — you know — big moments where she makes a play and then cracks a big smile, or she starts laughing, or does something funny.”

Flowers describes Sharpe as an explosive athlete who excels at getting in the paint and exposing opposing defenses; someone who can pressure the basketball and get steals on defense and plan passing lanes for her teammates. He expects the added year will have only made Sharpe a better player.

“We expect her to play a part in our team getting better,” Flowers said. “Her job is to do what she can to help the team win and that’s what she does.”

Last season, Sharpe had games where she’d contribute 19 points, and other games where she’d help out in different ways, like by corralling nine rebounds, dishing out nine assists or racking up seven steals; highlighting Sharpe’s value as an unselfish team player on the court.

Sharpe herself credits learning these traits from her supportive parents and her sisters, especially Jazmyne. Besides sisterly life lessons on fashion, money management and boys, Sharpe credits her sister for teaching her how to love and give.

Jazmyne in turn says she tried to impart the importance of responsibility and caring but she is also quick to mention the lessons she’s learned from her younger sister.

“To stand up for what you want and that you can follow your dreams and actually make it happen,” said the slightly elder Sharpe. “Watching her grow out of being shy and actually doing interviews, just seeing her get awards – it makes me proud, very proud to be her sister.”

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