To dunk or not to dunk

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  • Growing up playing on club teams has given Jacy Abii a better understanding of what teamwork really means. “I think that the difference is that in club, you can make your team with almost anybody you want,” Abii said. “In high school, you’ve got to work with the pieces that you have.”

  • With her parents having played two different positions during their careers, Jacy has had the opportunity to learn a variety of skills. Her coach now recognizes this through the way she carries herself both on and off the court.

  • Following high school, Abii plans on playing college ball and eventually working her way into the WNBA. She also has plans to go into sports training following her time with the WNBA.

  • With a dad that is 6’6, a mom that is 5’11, and brothers that are 6’7 and 6’4, Abii feels she was truly born into the sport. As height is such a big component to basketball, this piece comes naturally.

  • Abii began playing at a young age when she would pull her dad into the gym at preschool. The two could not leave the gym until they had practiced together for a little while.

  • Jacy has been practicing her skills daily from a young age. With plans to continue on after high school, there is no stopping soon in sight for the athlete.

For many high school athletes, playing sports starts at a young age.

For freshman Jacy Abii, it started when she was still in the womb. 

She’s going to be one of the best kids in America,

— head coach Ross Reedy

“I think we realized that something was special with Jacy around the time she was in preschool,” Jacy’s mom Latori Abii said. “My husband and I both played in college, so whenever we were having fun or going to the gym, we would take [the kids] with us, so we’ve always kind of been a basketball family. I was pregnant with Jacy and I’d still play pick-up basketball games until I got too big to move.”

Fast forward 15 years later, and Jacy is a key contributor on the girls’ varsity basketball team that plays Mt. Pleasant Friday at 6 p.m. in 5A UIL Region II semifinal in Garland. 

Already considered one of the state’s top freshmen, colleges began showing interest when Jacy was only in middle school.

“I started getting recruited in seventh grade, and I think the first school was Stanford, which really surprised my parents,” Jacy said. “It was just pretty fun. I think that it probably put a little bit more pressure on me just because I realized that maybe I could do even more than that and try to make more goals that I would have to actually challenge myself with further on.”

Fortunately for Jacy, her brother Micaiah knows what it’s like to go through the recruiting process. Now playing for Dallas Baptist, Micaiah has watched Jacy’s game develop over the years.

“I remember, when she first really started, she was always in the gym,” Micaiah Abii said. “You know, me and my brother would play and she was always there with us. What I remember though is that she was always there by choice.”

Jacy’s family members were not the only ones who realized she showed promise at such a young age as Redhawks head coach Ross Reedy had the opportunity to watch her grow.

“She was in third grade, or fourth grade maybe [when I first met her], but my first impression was real simple,” Reedy said. “She had this huge personality in the game to match. I mean, she was extremely dynamic.”

In the spotlight for years, Jacy has the ability to shrug it off without looking back.

“I get a lot of pressure, but I usually deal with it by ignoring it and just dealing with it later,” Jacy said. “Usually it comes from my parents, but sometimes you gotta deal with it, ignore it, and just hoop.”

Hooping is something she does well. Standing 6’1” is on the verge of doing something few girls her age can even think of. 

“I definitely expect to be able to dunk by the time I graduate,” Jacy said. “I remember I was always saying that I wanted to dunk by the time I was in high school and nobody ever thought I could do it. I think I’ll surprise a lot of people, but that’s definitely one of my goals.”

It’s a goal that could soon be reached as Jacy began dunking a tennis ball in 8th grade.

“I remember I was in a gym and it was just me and my brothers and they were like, Jacy, you’ve got to try to dunk,” she said. “We tried with the real ball. I couldn’t do that quite yet. I tried with a small ball and I was able to dunk it, so we just worked from there.”

Sometimes you gotta deal with [pressure], ignore it, and just hoop,

— Jacy Abii

After watching her play and work on her game for nearly six years, Reedy is excited for the next three years.

“It’s funny seeing somebody go from five to the next time you see her, 11, six foot in eighth grade, her growth, still to be determined,” Reedy said. “I believe I told her father, I said, she’s going to be one of the best kids in America.”


This story was updated via the embedded tweet as Jacy dunked for the first time in April during a training session.