The return of Humes

DKS Editors

Guard back on team after suspension

Sophomore Jamilah Humes was supposed to be the Kent State women’s basketball team’s leading returning scorer last year.

The 2006-07 All-Mid American Conference Freshman Team member was supposed to lead the Flashes to their 17th consecutive winning season.

But Humes, who averaged around nine points and three rebounds a game her freshman year, never saw a minute of action last year. She sat on the sidelines serving a suspension as her team struggled to a 9-21 record.

“I’ve never sat out in my life, ever,” the 5-foot-8 guard said. “Just to see my team going through what they were going through and all the adversity they were going through and having people getting injured and knowing that you can’t do anything about it but just show support – that was the toughest part about sitting on the bench.”

Humes was suspended from the team before the start of last season after turning herself in to Kent State Police on charges of receiving stolen property.

She, along with former teammate ChyTearra Kintchen, pleaded guilty to the fifth-degree felony in June. Humes was put on probation for a year and ordered to pay back half the restitutions.

Kintchen transferred to Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn. and played for its basketball team last season. Humes, however, chose to stay at Kent State.

“I started my career here,” she said. “I had the support of all my teammates and the staff and the athletic department. I felt like I’d be letting them down and quitting on not only them, but myself. I wanted to show that I do have the determination to stick through what I went through, and I can strive and get through anything.”

Keeping up with the team after spending a season off the roster was a struggle, Humes said.

“You don’t realize how much work you put into it when you sit out a whole year, so it’s been hard,” she said. “I’ve been doing extra work just to stay in shape and stay with the rest of the team. It’s been fun, though.”

Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said Humes practiced with the team during the spring and summer, but he is still concerned about her physical fitness coming into this season.

“(Her) conditioning is a little suspect right now, but I think she’ll take care of that as time goes on,” he said. “She could have a breakout year if she can play long enough to do it.”

The sophomore was poised for a breakout year after her freshman year. Humes saw significant playing time in all 28 games and started 18 of them during the 2006-2007 season. She finished third on the team in scoring.

Having Humes back will only help the Flashes, said Asheley Harkins, Kent State senior guard and a former high school teammate of Humes.

“It means a lot (to have her back),” she said. “With her being back, it definitely deepens our bench in the guard position. She’s a good player, so it just makes our team that much better.”

Humes’ sights are only on improving the team.

“I just want to be an all-around team player,” she said. “I just want to get back into the chemistry of things. I’m really not trying to start any personal goals right now besides getting back together with the team.”

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].