West’s Jenna Potts inks with Milligan College
Morristown West basketball standout Jenna Potts, seated center, signed this week to continue her education and playing career at Milligan College this fall. Seated, from left, are Milligan coach Dr. Rich Aubrey, Michael Potts (father), Potts, Theresa Potts (mother) and Trey Potts (twin brother). Standing, from left, are West athletic director Michael Reed, West head coach Johnny Galyon, West assistant coach Heather Kelley and West assistant principal/athletic director Tim Landefeld.
Chances are if you have been in a gymnasium with Morristown West’s girls’ basketball team playing, you have seen No. 13 shooting and making a lot of 3-pointers the last four years.
Senior Jenna Potts has made her fair share of long-range jumpers, and despite her prep career coming to a close in March, her playing career did not end at the state tournament in Murfreesboro.
Due to her propensity to make 3-pointers on a regular basis and her work ethic, Potts signed to play basketball at Milligan College this week to continue her education and playing career.
Potts said she knew very little about Milligan other than having former teammate Allison Jones playing for the Lady Buffaloes, but her visit to the campus in Elizabethton made her fall in love with the school.
“I went up there for a visit and I didn’t really know much about them, but when I was there, I loved the atmosphere,” Potts said. “The college is like a little circle and everybody knows each other. It’s like its own little community, and it’s not too far from home.”
Potts will play for Dr. Rich Aubrey at Milligan, who she said is a great communicator and someone all the players on the team respect.
“Coach Aubrey is a genuinely nice and caring coach,” Potts said. “I talked to a lot of the players about him, and the things I like most about him are he is very understanding and is a great communicator.”
“I have learned Milligan has a really good team, and they have been conference champs a couple times lately. They have a really good program, and coach Aubrey said they would win games and win championships. I really liked that.”
Potts, along with fellow seniors Christina Zimmerman, King University cross country and track signee Haylea Seals and Carson-Newman basketball signee Jecca Simerly, went through a lot in their four years at West, and Potts said finishing it off with a Region 1-AAA title and state tournament berth was all worth it.
“These four years have been up and down, and our seniors this year started off struggling to win games but we finished up at state tournament this season,” Potts said. “My high school career has prepared me for what I’m about to do.
“Going to the state tournament was the only way I would want to finish up my senior year. It wasn’t fun losing in the first game, but I can’t complain because we got there and a lot of other teams didn’t make it. It’s just an awesome feeling that I just signed, we won a lot of games this year and we made it to state. It’s been a pretty good senior year.”
Potts had high praise for Lady Trojans head coach Johnny Galyon and assistant coach Heather Kelley as well.
“It’s meant a lot playing for coach Galyon and coach Kelley because they were really hard on me and expected a lot,” Potts said. “If they hadn’t been that way, I don’t think I would be here right now. They really helped me a lot.”
Galyon said the signing was not only a great moment for the program, but is a big achievement for Potts, and a moment he is very proud of her for.
“It’s a happy moment for our program because you have a kid who has really worked hard on her game and done the right things for four years,” Galyon said. “Now she is being rewarded with an opportunity to play at the next level.
“She really improved her shot and started to blossom at the end of her junior year. By the beginning of her senior year, she had become one of the best 3-point shooters in East Tennessee. We’re very proud of Jenna, and we will be keeping an eye on her in her four years at Milligan.”
-By Matt Daniels, Tribune Sports Editor