By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
The hot pink T-shirt with zebra-print writing said it all: Texas State.
Killeen forward Jasmine Baugus also wore a checkered-print vest over the T-shirt, grey Nike sneakers with stripes of pink and orange and pink peace sign earrings. She laughed when Lady Roos coach Latisha Williams called her "different."
"She is," Williams said. "She's just one of those kids that's just so unique. Just from the outfits she wears to just how she carries herself. Her personality, she's just bubbly. She's definitely one of a kind."
All Baugus could do was laugh and then she signed her letter of intent to play basketball for the Division I Bobcats.
"The way I act, like goofy, I make everybody laugh," Baugus said. "And I guess the way I dress. I always stand out, everywhere."
She stood out to Williams as an eighth-grade basketball player.
"I saw her play in middle school and I knew," Williams said. "As long as she had a good attitude, I'd start her off on the varsity and make her work. There wasn't any doubt. It was just about if she had the right attitude to mesh with the team. And, there was never a problem. Never a problem. Never a doubt.
"There was a lot of growing, going from a middle school game to a varsity basketball game ... It was more of a secondary role her freshman year and then her sophomore year she had her best year that she ever had, so it seemed to work out for her."
Baugus, who averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists last year as a junior, also considered the University of Texas – Arlington and Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, but Texas State, she said, fit better with her personality.
"Out of all the schools I visited, it fit me the most," Baugus added. "I feel very comfortable there ... the environment, the people, I got along real good with the team and the way they play basketball, their style."
ESPN HoopGurlz ranks Baugus the No. 41 guard in the country and Texas State girls basketball coach Suzanne Fox said Baugus will be an "explosiveness perimeter threat" on the schools' website.
"Her numbers don't reflect her versatility, but she has ball skills and perimeter rebounding techniques that translate into being a very explosive perimeter threat at the collegiate level," Fox said on txstatebobcats.com.
Baugus is a two-time all-district first team selection and helped the Lady Roos to a 28-7 record, a co-District 25-4A championship and a regional quarterfinal playoff appearance last season.
This year, she's a cornerstone for the Lady Roos who hope to claim the out-right district title.
"I really think her freshman year was the only year that she was just quiet, because she was a freshman," Williams said. "Her maturity level has gone up, a lot. I mean she was a really meek and mild 14-year-old when she first came and not aggressive at all and she can still work on that. But she's trying to step into that leadership role now."
Baugus admitted to being that shy and nervous freshman but, she added, she was still goofy.
"I was shy, nervous all the time (as a freshman). Every practice, varsity practice, I was nervous. I just got used to it," Baugus said. "I'm always goofy, I don't know, it's just in me, I guess.
"I wake up and I just throw on whatever. I don't try and match, so I just throw on whatever."
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.