Junior guard for the University of Richmond, Jayana Ervin, is a go getter who is breaking down barriers in an effort to beat the odds. At the young age of 21 Jayana has a knack for facing adversity head on and overcoming it. At 18 years old Jayana made a commitment to herself to move across the country to continue her education. However, this did not come easy to Jayana. Jayana is from the state of Washington where she played on her high school basketball team, but just like many seniors in high school, she found herself in her final season with ZERO offers.
Jayana decided to make the most of her situation and got on the phone. She said, “I probably called 200 colleges, both D1 and D2 over on the East coast specifically because I knew there were a lot of Division 1 schools that I could go to that I could play at. For example, there are five division 1 schools within the state of Washington, and then there’s five division 1 schools within the city of Philadelphia. There was just a lot more opportunity so I found a school that I wanted to go to.” If all of that was not humbling enough, once Jayana found the school she wanted to go to, she was still unable to go. Initially Jayana wanted to go to St. Joseph’s University, however they had already finished their recruiting. But Jayana did not let that stop her! Instead Jayana decided, “maybe if I go to a nearby junior college, then I can transfer there,” which is how she ended up at Harcum College, her freshman year in college. She continued, “Of course plans change, but I believe there’s a reason for everything and there’s a reason why I was supposed to be in Philadelphia at that junior college. And I’m thankful I went there.” She is wise beyond her years. Most student-athletes who do not get recruited by senior year, do not have this mentality nor do they take this approach. Even Jayana admitted “often times girls get discouraged if they don’t go D1 and I think D1 is not a determining factor. It’s all about the education.” She continued, “it’s a lot easier said than how you feel, because you want the glory. You want the fame! You want everyone to be like SHE’S GOING D1! I think it’s important to remember the end does not define the means.”
Now, she is a twenty-one year old, junior guard for the University of Richmond on an athletic scholarship, with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. Jayana is currently in a program at the University of Richmond, called PPEL (Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law) and is set to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in 2020! Of course, Jayana does not stop there! After receiving her bachelor’s degree next year, Jayana plans to attend law school, in order to begin her career as either a lawyer, or she plans to go into politics. Jayana says, “I definitely want to be a voice for people who can’t use their voice.” Perseverance is what separates you from anyone else. Anyone can have talent. Lots of people are smart, but when things don’t go according to plan it doesn’t mean change the plan, it just means change the path. Jayana is such an inspiration at such a young age because she stays the course, no matter what. When the road is blocked, Jayana takes a detour. Jayana is the epitome of beauty, brains, and BALL(H)ER.