By Joseph Staszewski
Jordan Agustus plans on rewriting her reputation.
The super-talented St. John’s women’s basketball freshman and Bronx native was labeled as lazy and not a consistently hard worker during her high school career at Mary Louis and then St. Mary’s in Manhasset. She is determined not to let that define her time with the Red Storm.
“It bothered me a lot, but I feel like I brought that to myself,” Agustus said. “I want to start on a new page in college. I want to come out strong and make a name for myself rather then being lazy.”
The 6-foot-1 small forward is off to a good start in St. John’s coach Joe Tartamella’s eyes. He’s been pleased with her energy, effort, maturity and results since the summer. A lot of it has to do with the guidance and leadership from his team veterans. He can see Agustus does not want to disappoint them either and is trying to play up to their standard.
“They all bring it out of me,” she said. “You are playing with great players who don’t just shadow on into darkness. You want to be able to shine.”
Agustus, the No. 15-ranked wing in her class by ESPN, will have that opportunity to do that at St. John’s. She will see minutes right away and be asked to be a versatile part of the lineup, taking some of the scoring burden from Aliyyah Handford and Danaejah Grant.
The three-time Newsday All-Long Island selection had the ability to be a mismatch problem. Agustus has the strength to score inside against a smaller defender and the ball handling and shooting skills to bring taller forwards out to the perimeter. She averaged 15.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game as a junior at St. Mary’s.
“She can pass. She has great vision. She can rebound the ball,” Tartamella said. “When she gets the ball inside, she is a beast and she is tough to stop. Her handle off the ball at the top of the key is going to be a mismatch problem. You have to decide who you want to guard her.”
Agustus has a lot of respect for the faith the coaches have put in her. She understands she needs to improve defensively, but has shown she is willing to put in the work. She wants to put to rest the idea that she takes possessions off. You can’t do that if you want to to play as a professional, like she does down the road.
“I want to stand out,” Agustus said. “I don’t want to be blending in with everybody else.”