For senior guard Chucky Jeffery, basketball is not just a game, but a way of life. Sports have always been a huge part of her life. She played football for eight years as a child, but settled down with basketball when she realized that her dream was to play for the WNBA.
After her explosive career as a guard at Colorado, her dream is within reach.
“I think I just learned how to manage the game a little bit better—finding my opportunities to score, knowing when I need to go get a rebound or picking up defensively to help my team get into a better position to win the game,” Jeffery said.
(Video courtesy Rose Heaphy/Sports Mag)
As a senior, Jeffery carried her team. They finished the regular season 24-5 overall and 13-5 in Pac-12 conference play. She started every game this season and posted some impressive statistics. She achieved 380 points, 241 rebounds, 112 assists, 63 steals and 12 blocks. She was also named to the all-conference Pac-12 team for the second straight season.
The Buffaloes were ranked nationally for the majority of the season and ended up at No. 18 in the NCAA. They head to Seattle on Thursday to compete for the Pac-12 title, and Jeffery is confident that the team can run away with the victory.
“With our winning streak, we have a lot of confidence right now and we’re going to try to keep that going through the Pac-12,” Jeffery said. “It’s going to be important for us in the NCAA tournament especially, where we already have a little bit of confidence with it being here, home in our own gym. I think that’s going to help us out a lot and playing teams like Stanford and [California] early on in the season helped us a lot. I think that’s one of the main reasons why we’re on one of these winning streaks is because we played tough, competitive teams early on. We know what it takes to win games, but then it’s also a downside to that to where we might not play to our potential against a certain opponent. If we have to see them again, we know what it’s going to take.”
Regardless of the team’s performance in the Pac-12 conference tournament, the Buffs will automatically advance to the NCAA tournament as a result of their outstanding regular season record and accomplishments.
When asked if she thinks the team can pull off some upsets and make a run in the NCAA tournament this year, Jeffery was confident.
“Definitely, I think we have the weapons, I think we have the players,” she said. “Thank goodness we’re staying healthy. We have enough players, we have the depth and we compete. I think we’re a good team, as long as we go out and execute, we can go out and make a huge run in this tournament.”
By the end of her college career, Jeffery became the first women’s basketball player in CU school history to accomplish 800 rebounds, 400 assists and 1,400 points. She did not stop there. Before the post-season of her final year in college, she had achieved 908 rebounds, 470 assists and 1,598 points in all.
Jeffery said a career in the WNBA is one of her dreams.
“I don’t necessarily know if I’m going to get drafted, but I definitely feel that I could have a shot at being in the WNBA,” she said. “That’s one of my dreams. That’s going to be huge, so that will be a big day for me.”
If she does get drafted this year, it does not matter to her where she ends up.
“I’m not a picky person,” she said. “Anywhere that a coach or a team is going to take me, I’m going to go. I would probably to go to Phoenix or L.A., somewhere where it’s really nice weather. I don’t like the cold too much, but like I said, where it’s a good team and where I can fit in well, I’d be more than happy to join.”
Jeffery is not done with college hoops yet, though. The team heads to Seattle this weekend to start the Pac-12 tournament. After getting a first round bye, Colorado awaits the winner of Oregon and Washington and will play in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament Friday night in Seattle.
Editor’s note: The Buffs lost to Stanford in the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alissa Noe at Alissa.firstname.lastname@example.org.