MEDFORD, Ore. – It’s right before a South Medford girls basketball game. Jasmin Falls is in uniform, but she’s not with the rest of the team. She’s singing the national anthem, something that’s become a tradition before Panther games.
“It’s a great way for us to start the contest, seeing one of our kids get up and be a part of the very beginning ceremony,” said head coach Tom Cole. “It’s the first time we’ve had that. It’s pretty cool.”
She even sang at the Rose Garden before a boys playoff game last year.
That was nerve-wracking,” said Falls. “I actually had just gotten off the van from travelling, and I was in sweats and a sweatshirt, and they were like, ‘Hey, you want to sing?’ I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ I don’t look like I should be singing the national anthem right now.”
“No warmup, no mic check,” said Cole. “Here’s a live mic center court of the Rose Garden, and she nails The Star Spangled Banner a cappela.”
For Jasmin, it’s something she loves.
“I’ve always had a passion for music,” said Falls.
She also has a passion for basketball. She started playing when she was in the third grade and joined the top ranked Panthers last year.
“I wanted to prove that I deserved to be there, and I wanted to contribute as much as I possibly could,” said Falls.
Now she’s a starter when the ball is tipped and before.
“In terms of big stages, basketball games are happening with ten kids on the floor,” said Cole. “Getting in front of an audience that is anticipating a sporting event and everybody getting quiet to celebrate the national anthem, that’s a whole different platform.”
“I really enjoy the fact that it can be used to express yourself in so many ways,” said Falls.
On game night, Jasmin expresses herself in two very different ways.