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Senior Jaddan Simmons shoots 1000th career point, reflects longevity

ASU point guard Jaddan Simmons recently scored her 1000th point of her collegiate career at the Footprint Center in the Jerry Colangelo Hall of Fame game


Senior guard Jaddan Simmons (2) during a game against UTSA at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. ASU won 70-55.

ASU guard Jaddan Simmons is thriving during her senior year. Throughout her career, she has been a mainstay for Sun Devil hoop fans, starting in all 77 of the games she has played in over the last three seasons. That longevity came to a head on Dec. 20 at the Footprint Center when Simmons scored her 1,000th point vs. Fresno State during the Jerry Colangelo Hall of Fame game. 

"It was just a great opportunity for me; I just saw it as a blessing," Simmons said. "And obviously Phoenix, just playing there meant a lot. You see all the great players coming in and out of the WNBA, and I just get a chance on the same floor." 

This season, Simmons is averaging 10.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Last season, she was recognized with an honorable mention for the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team for her outstanding defensive performance and on the other side of the ball, averaged her career-high up to that point in points per game with 12.4. 

Over the course of Simmons' collegiate career, she has displayed growth that second-year coach Natasha Adair said she has been able to lean on since arriving in the Valley. In Adair's early tenure, she said Simmons has been her most productive Sun Devil. 

That growth was on display in the Sun Devils' victory over the University of the Pacific on Dec. 1. Simmons played 40 minutes and caught fire, scoring her career-high 26 points, 17 of which she scored in the second half.

"I just really concentrate on what I do to help my team," Simmons said in a postgame press conference after the Sun Devils' double digit victory over Pacific. "It can be anybody on any given night, so it's just nice to have that (moment)."

Simmons cited noticing a significant improvement in the Sun Devils' performance compared to last season due to the squad's increased fighting spirit. 

ASU has exceeded last season's win total after beating Pac-12 foe, the Washington Huskies, on the road on Sunday, which improved their current record to 9-10.

"We had some rough moments last year, and fixing that off the fly was hard, but I think just trusting each other, communicating, and doing anything we can to win," Simmons said about the team's efforts. "We had a loss last week, and bouncing back this (season) is the biggest thing I've been seeing."

Senior forward Maggie Besselink has been teammates with Simmons since they were freshmen. She and her teammates noticed how Simmons' leadership has positively impacted the team on and off the floor. Besselink said because of the person she is off the floor, everyone on the team looks up to her. 

"Anything she says, all eyes turn to her immediately, which is really important as a point guard," Besselink said. "But I also agree my cognitive skills have increased, but it also impacts who's around me and how they help build that confidence."

After Simmons scored her 1000th point at Footprint Center, her teammates ensured to give her flowers, with Adair as one of the main people leading the charge. 

"We gave her a little celebratory water shower," Adair said. "(Simmons) is just the heartbeat of our team ... for her to experience that, it's super important. And we're proud that she was able to do it.” 

Edited by Alfred Smith III, Alysa Horton and Caera Learmonth.

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