January 8, 2007 - by
Freshman Jacinta Monroe Is Still Growing In Many Ways

Jan. 8, 2007

The Florida State women’s basketball media guide lists Jacinta Monroe as 6-4. Coach Sue says that Monroe is 6-5. So, which is it?

“I was 6-4 and a half last time I checked, but I have grown since then,” Monroe said.

Monroe, you see, has been tall for a very long time, so an inch here and an inch there is really no big deal. She remembers her growth spurt beginning in the fourth grade.

“In fourth grade, I was like 5-8,” Monroe said. “In fifth grade, I was 5-11, then after that I just kept growing. Sixth grade, I was 6-2, seventh and eighth I was 6-3.”

Her height comes from her dad’s side of the family where everybody is around six feet tall. Monroe’s dad was 6-5 and her two brothers are 6-7 and 6-4, respectively, so her chances of being tall were pretty good.

At around age five, Monroe’s dad introduced her to the sport of basketball but it wasn’t until the eighth grade that she decided the sport could help mold her future.

“When I was young, I always kept basketball with me, but I kind of slacked off but when I got in middle school, that’s when I really started playing organized basketball,” she said.

Growing up in South Florida, Monroe, a Ft. Lauderdale native, grew up a Miami fan and thought she would maybe someday play for the Hurricanes. In the early years, Florida State wasn’t even on her radar.

“Florida State was kind of like a last minute thing,” Monroe said. “I always wanted to go to Miami since I was little because I grew up around the area and I used to like watching the football games. Once I really got into the recruiting stage of things in like 10th and 11th grade, I began to take my visits and I went on the Florida State trip, that’s when I loved it. Florida State really started recruiting me in my junior year. I just fell in love with it because it’s different.”

The decision to leave the South Florida area was something Monroe was ready to do but she liked the fact that she wasn’t going too far from home.

“As the months past and I was getting closer and closer to making my decision, I grew tired of the same area, the same thing,” Monroe said. “I guess I got hungry to get away from Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, the whole Metro area because I could just drive to Miami anytime I wanted to but Florida State is like a road trip and it’s still in Florida. I wanted to give my family some time to miss me.”

Being at Florida State and being away from the security of home has helped Monroe to grow in many ways.

“I love it here,” Monroe said. “It’s different and it’s helping me mature faster. If I would have stayed home, I think I would have been tempted to go home with every challenge that came my way. Going away and being in Tallahassee has really helped me grow as a person.”

On the court, Monroe is feisty as ever and uses her 6-something frame to reach over her opponent and what you see is what you get when it comes to her because she wears her emotions on her sleeve.

“I just have fun,” Monroe said. “I’m just naturally hyped when things are going well and even when things aren’t going well, it just kind of clicks. It’s like `turn it up.’ I don’t know where I get it from; I guess it’s just my love for the game.”

Something else Monroe loves about the game is dunking the basketball. She dunked it once during her junior year in high school and tried to do it again earlier this season on the road at East Carolina. Fans can expect to see it some time during Monroe’s career.

“You’ll definitely see it again, only this time, I’ll make it if I don’t get fouled,” Monroe said. “I guess I just have to run a little bit faster. At East Carolina, I knew I took off too early but the girl came in from under me and pushed me to the side so I just tried to throw it up there anyway even though I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I was excited and I knew it would get everybody else excited so I just went for it.”

As far as what Monroe will bring to the team throughout her career, there’s really no limits to what she is willing to do.

“Next year, I can see myself being more of a leader,” Monroe said. “Right now, I can bring energy and extra rebounding power. I guess I’ll just let the coaches really let me know what they want me to do. I’m just here to rebound and get things done and help the team out wherever I need to help out.”

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