Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
Osborn High 5-9 junior guard Markus Franklin and Southeastern High 6-0 junior center Jazmine Kimbrough are the Detroit Public School League’s Proud Strong Learners of the Week after both contributed big-time to their teams’ 2-0 starts this season.
“We’re working hard and we’re staying humble,” said Franklin, who scored 14 points with six assists against Northwestern and had 11 points and seven assists against City, both nonleague victories.
Franklin, a second-year starter, figures to be prominent in the progression of Coach Venais Jordan’s Knights.
“He’s a Division I (college-caliber) player,” Jordan said. “He’s an extremely quick guy who is very capable of scoring or making the great pass. Because of his quickness, he’s an excellent on-ball defender and he causes the opposition a lot of problems.”
Franklin sometimes plays shooting guard but he relishes the role of being at the point. “I’m the floor leader, so my team plays how I play,” he said. “It’s important that I lead and show the other players what to do.”
A student with a 3.4 grade point average, Franklin says the team’s emphasis is on making the grade academically as well as on the court.
“Coach has a study hall set up for us to do our homework and class work,” he says. “The key is to be organized, nice and neat. We’re student-athletes so you have to make sure you get your grades to be able to play.”
Franklin’s team goals for this season are “to win the city and state championship.” Individually, he’s lifting weights and doing push-ups to build his strength.
“There’s a lot of talent in this league and every team expects to compete,” Franklin said. “We’re the underdogs because nobody is really looking for us to win the championship. But that’s the way I like it.”
As a raw talent, Kimbrough is just scratching the surface of her potential as a dominating post player. The Lady Jungaleers’ center showed what she is capable of last week in back to back victories, scoring 28 points with 10 rebounds in a 77-7 trouncing of Kettering and adding 15 points with 14 rebounds in an 80-13 rout of Denby.
“Jazmine is a very good rebounder even though she’s still learning the game,” Southeastern coach Lisa Blackburn said. “We’re working with her on developing her offensive skills, but she should have a lot of schools looking at her by the time she’s a senior.”
In her first year with the varsity, Kimbrough continues to make strides after leading her team to a junior varsity championship last year. She views the PSLer of the Week award as proof her improvement.
“I’m surprised (to get this honor) but I’ve been working hard since my freshman year,” she said. “This shows that if you keep working hard it will get you somewhere.”
With a 3.5 grade point average, Kimbrough expects to have the grades and the game to play at the next level. “Earning a scholarship and playing in college, that’s my plan,” she said. “But I need to keep improving and we expect to keep getting better as a team. I think we’re going to have a good season.”