By Chelsey Kraft
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Keep pushing. Keep going.
Jasmine Hartman, University of Oklahoma women's basketball redshirt senior guard, hears those words from her grandfather all the time. He always makes sure she knows how proud he is of her - because of her strength in the face of adversity, the education she has pursued and her positive influence as a big sister, just to name a few reasons. He's just so proud.
"One thing [that makes him proud] is her ability to make adjustments in her life," Hartman's grandfather J.C. Hartman explains, referencing two knee injuries - an ACL one last season and a PCL one her junior year of high school. "It hasn't always been easy for her with injuries and stuff like that. Even in spite of that, she has still persevered and become a very nice person and beautiful young lady."
Since Hartman's mother, Jessica Horton, had her when she was 18 years old, her grandparents helped raise her so that her mother could finish college.
"It was a never give-up thing," Hartman says. "They [her grandmother and grandfather] were always the ones pushing us."
On the court, Hartman wants to be there for her teammates, and teammate and fellow fifth-year senior Whitney Hand refers to Hartman as goofy, lighthearted and all about the team.
"She wants to do whatever possible, and whatever her role is, she will do it to the best of her ability," Hand says. "She is one of the hardest workers on our team."
Off the court, Hartman admits she is a television series junkie who loves "Grey's Anatomy" and recently "Scandal," among others.
This summer, Hartman will complete her master's degree in human relations management. Someday, she would like to own a gym, complete with basketball courts for kids and AAU teams to play on, a pool and group fitness classes like Zumba.
In fact, Hartman is following, although not intentionally, in her mother's footsteps. Horton works in a human resources field as the payroll manager for the Houston Astros. Although Hartman did not plan on following a career path similar to her mother's, she says she does appreciate having her mother there for advice on internships and other issues.
"I can say I started early in life with her, but I felt like everything was happening for a reason," Horton says of her relationship with her daughter. "We are close as in mother and daughter, but she can also always come and talk to me about anything."
This support from her mother has been present throughout her life, Hartman explains, especially when she played AAU basketball. Hartman acknowledges the money and time commitments her mother made to her basketball career, but Horton never failed to support her daughter.
"She was always the one freezing my water bottles and Gatorade," Hartman remarks. "I was the only one on the bench with a frozen Gatorade, and my teammates always wanted me to give them some of my Gatorade."
Horton admits pushed Hartman to reach the next level because saw the potential her daughter had, even as early as elementary school when Hartman was often one of a couple of girls playing against male classmates.
"She was always playing outside against the boys, and they were going home mad," Horton recalls. "She was always taking care of her business with the basketball."
Now, Horton says she is still Hartman's No. 1 fan.
Today, Hartman frequently works to help other people, whether it is through going on a mission trip to Haiti or visiting a local elementary class on a consistent basis, her grandfather and mother explain.
This desire to help others is just another of the many qualities that makes Hartman's grandfather so proud.
"To me, she is a perfect young lady," J.C. Hartman says.
According to both her grandfather and mother, Hartman also serves as a positive role model to her younger sister, Tamia. Horton says Hartman always calls or texts Tamia to make sure she is doing her work and to check up on her.
"She's been a wonderful granddaughter and a very fine example for her sister," J.C. Hartman expresses. "She spends time with her sister, and she's at the age that she needs that guidance and needs the help. In years to come, this will be very beneficial to her and her sister."
For Hartman, she says she just wants to be a supporting influence to her little sister, just as her grandparents and mother have been for her.
"I have an 11-year-old sister now, and I basically see myself as leading the way for her," Hartman says. "I'm just doing this because of my family. They did it for me, and they are passing it on to me, so now I must give back. That's how I see it."
It seems is time for Hartman to be the encourager, reminding someone she loves to keep pushing, keep going.