JayDee Zamora walked on to the basketball court for the first time as a 5-year-old on her Little Dribbler’s basketball team. The moment her hands gripped the ball she threw it up in the air, watched it fall and then began to shed tears as she ran off the court.
The same athlete, who was once afraid to get back out on the court as a little girl, has blossomed into a 16-year-old All-State athlete with more to prove as her high school career continues at Bishop.
The Texas Girls Coaches Association made the announcement recently that Zamora is one of several athletes named as All-State basketball players in UIL Class 3A.
She is one of seven sophomores on the list and is the only player listed in the area on any level from the TGCA.
Zamora said she found out she made the All-State list from her head coach, Sherry Luna, while in Midland during Spring Break.
“Coach Luna gave me a call and notified me that I made the All-State team,” Zamora said. “I was very excited, jumping everywhere waiting to tell my parents. It’s something I’ve worked for since I started playing the game of basketball.”
Zamora is only in her second year of high school, but said her years in basketball stem back to her early childhood days because of her mother, Tracy Zamora, who has been a high school basketball coach for 30 years.
Zamora said her parents continued to take her to basketball games after she ran off the court all those years ago, until she was ready to step back on the court.
And the day she ran into the gym ready to play, it’s been non-stop basketball ever since.
“Not everyone has been given the opportunity to play basketball as long as I have,” Zamora said. “After school I was always in the gym shooting while (my mom) was having her practice with her team … I’ve played all around the State of Texas with many travel teams, which helped developed that passion I have for the game.”
Her mom and her coach, Zamora said, are the biggest influences on how she plays night in and night out.
“My mom is my best and worst critic of my game,” Zamora said. “Coach Luna, my second mom, as I call her, has been very inspirational to my game. She’s never satisfied and continues to push me towards my goals.”
Zamora gives all credit to her mother and her coach, along with her high school teammates - who she has played basketball with since she was in the sixth grade – for all she has been able to accomplish so far in her career.
On top of earning All-State honors, the Lady Badgers’ leading scorer has earned numerous other accolades over the last two years.
In the 2018-19 season, Zamora was named the District 31-3A unanimous Offensive MVP, and this season received a share of the District’s Overall MVP crown.
Zamora was named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Region 4 All-Region team in consecutive seasons.
So far in her career, Zamora has already amassed 1,000 total points, and has helped lead the Lady Badgers to two playoff appearances, including this year’s run to the Class 3A Regional Tournament.
Despite all that has already been accomplished, Zamora said she knows there is still more to be done by the Lady Badgers, including hopefully making a deeper run in the Class 3A playoffs in the next two seasons.
“I still have many personal goals to accomplish along with helping my team get to the state tournament,” Zamora said. “We as a team bonded and made our goals stick together and (hope) to eventually play in the state tournament. This is who we are, what we do and where we want to go.”
As for after her high school career is over, Zamora is just trying to hoop at the next level.
“I have accomplished so many of my goals, but there are many more of my personal goals to work for such as play college basketball,” Zamora said.