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Jaleesa Barksdale named Union Recorder Player of the Week

A HANDFUL ON THE COURT: As recently as last week GMC Prep’s Jaleesa Barksdale has been listed in the Top 2 in rebounds in the middle Georgia area. Keith Jump / The Union-Recorder google_protectAndRun("render_ads.js::google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad); Jaleesa Barksdale does it all for GMC Prep Lady Bulldog junior racks up rebounds en route to U-R Player of the Week Keith Jump The Union-Recorder GMC Prep’s Jaleesa Barksdale has been turning heads all season long with her incredible exploits on the hardwood — and this week, she has been awarded with The Union-Recorder Player of the Week. “I really just try and put myself in the best position to get the rebounds,” said Jaleesa Barksdale after a recent practice. With three games in which she has snatched 20 or more rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs, Barskdale has higher aspirations. “Before the season is over I hope to have at least one game with 25 or more rebounds,” said Barksdale with a wide, confident grin. This years bunch of “O, lets do it” Lady Dogs are on a roll at the moment and hope to continue that momentum further as they head toward the playoffs and a potential place in the state tournament. Barksdale, who is a junior, said she learned a lot the previous two years watching former GMC standout Erin McDade. She is also humble enough to realize she doesn’t get all the rebounds on just her play. “When we are in the middle, a lot of my success comes from Alyssa (Amerson) blocking out and helping me by cutting off others from getting in the middle,” Barksdale said. As recently as last week Barksdale had been listed in the top two in rebounds in the middle Georgia area. And the numbers she continues to put up will only enhance her statistics. But Barksdale is not just a rebounder. She can also score and is averaging almost 10 points a game. And this year Barksdale has improved the one aspect of her game that she was lacking in, free-throw shooting. She can handle the ball well and can go the length of the floor on a rebound, racing past her opponents for two points with relative ease. That ability can also be seen on the track, as she wears many jerseys for GMC athletics. This year Barksdale said she is going to try her luck in soccer. At the recent Fall Sports Banquet, track coach Stacey Stephenson noted that she believed Barksdale’s success in basketball can be traced back to her time on the track. “Lauryn Dennard and Elizabeth Craig have also shown me how to be a leader on this team, and I am so proud of all my teammates,” said a humble Barksdale as she was told she was being named Player of the Week. “She really has the athletic ability to do anything she puts her mind to and can only get better at basketball,” said head coach John Griffin. So with her teammates backing her up, the rebound specialist from GMC Prep is this week’s Union-Recorder Player of the Week. google_protectAndRun("render_ads.js::google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad); google_protectAndRun("render_ads.js::google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad); google_protectAndRun("render_ads.js::google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad); google_protectAndRun("render_ads.js::google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad); google_protectAndRun("render_ads.js::google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad);