Women's Basketball Notebook: Junior Jackie Cook
Nov. 2, 2011
Jackie Cook has kept busy on and off the court this fall. In preparation for the upcoming season her days have been filled with practice and workouts. She also has found time to concentrate on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), a new organization she helped bring to campus a couple months ago.
Cook comes from a well-rounded sports enthused Christian family from Hinckley, Ohio. Her father played football at Indiana University, her mother was a basketball player at the University of Cincinnati, and her younger brother is a red shirt freshman at Michigan State hoping for the quarterback spot next season. This year as a junior Cook is eager to display her leadership qualities to help her teammates.
"I am used to being a leader and as a freshman I took the back seat, being an upper classman gives me the opportunity to take the leadership role on," Cook explains. During the off season the team has been focusing on getting back on track to the winning history the women's basketball team has had, as well as working with new head coach Karen Barefoot.
"The last two years coming up short has been unacceptable, a CAA championship is a priority and goal for everyone as well as getting into the NCAA tournament," "Coach Barefoot is extremely passionate and her energy is contagious so I have a really good feeling about this year," says Cook.
The team has been focused on staying in shape and competing hard against one another when they practice in order to prepare for their season. "We aren't friends on the court during practice, this year we are determined to all give 110 percent on the floor," Cook describes.
When Cook has some down time from basketball she has been busy starting up the chapter of the FCA here at ODU.
The FCA is an organization that gives student-athletes all over the country in grade schools, high schools, colleges, and churches, just to name a few places, the opportunity to come together and share their Christian faith.
Cook was introduced to the FCA through her younger brother who has been attending the FCA bible study meetings since freshman year.
"I thought it was awesome that he was introduced to something like that as a freshman, and wondered why I never heard of it at ODU."
"When I first moved here I felt out of my element because I did not have a church I belonged to," Cook recalls.
Cook decided to find out more about the FCA and contacted the local chapter leader. She worked with him to bring a chapter to ODU.
Now a couple months old, the chapter at ODU is flourishing. Through a Facebook group page, flyers, and word of mouth, Cook has been able to gain lots of interest throughout the athletic community and beyond.
Cook herself is one of the leaders of the FCA along with a handful of other student-athletes. They work together every Sunday to prepare the bible studies that will fill the open meetings on Monday nights at 8 p.m.
"It's a great way to meet people that have something in common with me besides sports, we pray, sing, and have time to talk about the bible study, the meetings are open to anybody not just athletes, but we usually relate the bible study back to sports since it is such a huge passion to most of us," smiles Cook.
Basketball and the FCA has given Cook the chance to intertwine two very important aspects of her life here at ODU. She leads both by example which in her eyes is the most important quality of a good leader.