Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Tue, July 07

Jayme Lomakema, <br>3A Player Of The Year

Beauty, brains, and humility combined with a mean winning drive as one of the most petite basketball guards on the Lady Warriors, these are only some of the obvious qualities of recently named Arizona Republic’s 3A Player of the Year and Tuba City senior Jayme Lomakema.

Tuba City High School has become the breeding ground of home-grown, reservation nurtured basketball natives. Jayme comes from a long line of basketball players. Her uncles, Willard and Ray both went to college on full basketball scholarships. Her three cousins played with her in the past two years and again this year as the state winning Lady Warriors team.

Her cousin is a junior high basketball coach.

Her Hopi grandmother, Pauline Tsingine of Hotevilla is one of her strongest and most visible supporters at every game, both at home and away. You can’t attend a Warrior game without seeing a group of Tsingine’s in the crowd. Local community members tease about “basketball being in their blood.”

Her uncles whom Jayme describes lovingly as her ”idols,” were both outstanding basketball players at Coconino High School in Flagstaff. Basketball scholarships were offered to them through NAU. Her uncle Ray was competitive enough to garner the title of “Large School Player of the Year in 1973.” Her cousin, Carmen Tsingine is the girls basketball coach at TC Junior High.

Her family’s basketball legacy is tough to follow up, but Jayme makes it seem easy.

While playing tough defense, Jayme has also managed to lead a successful high school career. She was Football Homecoming Queen in fall 2001, retains an honor roll grade point average and still manages to participate fully in Hopi cultural activities in her home village of Hotevilla.

Jayme’s maternal clan is Tobacco, her paternal clan is Coyote. Jayme is the epitome of a student-athlete success story. She is the second Native American to be named as “Player of the Year” by the Arizona Republic, the first was Francine McCurtain from Winslow. This very special recognition for Jayme makes this honor all the more special and something that not only her family can be proud of but that her native community in this Northern Arizona town can embrace with extraordinary distinction.

Jayme started playing at the age of eight years old. Her mother, Janet was her first “coach.” In Janet’s full time career she actually coached at the junior high level, leading the Tuba City Junior High School to 3 Junior High State Championships in 1995,1996, 1998.

Jayme has literally lived, breathed and thought “basketball” her entire life. This has only served to help her with her aggressive playing and the disciplined required to play a tough game has assisted her with her study habits as well. Her extremely proud mom, Janet ”When Coach Tamyra Rogers came into the program, this was the best thing that could have happened to her. Jayme praises Coach Rogers as she made Jayme strive to be the best and showed her what it takes to be a quality player.”

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