Jasper Earns Top Academic Award

The Jasper family (from left): Therese, Jori, Jett and Richard

Jori Jasper certainly knows the importance of the academic side of playing collegiate softball. After all, she was recently one of three University of Hawaii softball athletes to be named to a National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete for the 2010 season.

Along with Garden Isle natives Alex Aguirre and Kelly Majam – Wahine teammates – the former Kaua’i High School stand-out is in rare company. Only 19 Rainbow Wahine softball players have ever earned the prestigious honor since the award was established by the NFCA in 1998.

“I’m very honored to get this prestigious award,” Jasper says. “It’s nice to be acknowledged for my class work, which the public never gets to hear about. I always keep in mind that the word ‘student’ comes first in student-athlete.”

To qualify, individuals must maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher for the fall and spring semesters combined. Just eight players from Hawaii have earned the award more than once, including Aguirre and Majam, who both earned the honor last season.

Jasper, a redshirt freshman, hopes to join them by winning this award this upcoming season.

“I use time management very well to balance my busy schedule,” Jasper says. “I took 42 credits my entire freshman year, so I needed to use my time wisely.”

The 2009 Red Raider graduate was highly successful at the prep level. She earned four varsity letters in softball, three in volleyball and two in baseball. The Lihu’e native helped lead the Kaua’i softball team to four consecutive conference championships and a Division II state softball title in her senior year, after finishing as the runner-up the previous two seasons.

Individually, Jasper took home all-league honors as a first baseman in both her junior and senior campaigns. The list goes on and on, including being named the team’s most valuable and inspirational player, and the school’s scholar-athlete of the year. She also was on the Principal’s List all four years of high school, among many other honors for her diligence on and off the field.

Jasper plans to major in business administration and minor in biology.

If her last name sounds familiar, then you may know her parents, Richard and Therese, who own JJ’s Broiler in Nawiliwili.

Jett and Jori Jasper after UH’s last regular-season game

Her older brother Jett also is making a name for himself at UH as a scholar-athlete, while earning student-body positions. Jett is a wide receiver/special teams member on the football team and can be seen, whenever on the field, as one of the Warriors who hustles like none other. Watch for No. 82 in the Hawaii Bowl Christmas Eve.

And that’s something his sister has learned from son after redshirting in an amazing year for Wahine softball.

“Our team had a great year last year, and we are going to take each game at a time in hopes of having a successful season like the year before,” Jasper says.

The softball team’s post-season run to the 2010 Women’s College World Series catapulted the ‘Bows to No. 7 in both the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the ESPN.com/USA Softball final polls. It is the highest finish for the Rainbow Wahine in school history.

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