Herald-Whig

Name game: Summers' career achievements make her known commodity

Player of the Year Jada Summers poses in the studio in Quincy on Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019. Summers will be playing for Culver-Stockton College next year. | H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 15, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Mar. 16, 2019 10:36 am

MONROE CITY, Mo.

Cody Leonard didn't understand why Jada Summers seemed so agitated.

During a shootout last summer at Northwest Missouri State University, the Monroe City girls basketball team faced an unfamiliar opponent that appeared plenty familiar with Summers. Leonard didn't think much of it. Summers didn't appreciate it.

"She's sitting there and she's mad," said Leonard, the Panthers' head coach. "I'm like, 'What are you mad for?' She looks at me and says, 'How do they know my name?' I didn't know what she was talking about. She says, 'I've never even heard of this school and they're out there going, 'I've got Jada. I've got Jada.' How do they know my name?'

"I told her it's because you're really, really good."

Truth be told, it would have been more surprising had they not known her name.

"She doesn't understand it, but everyone looking at it from the outside is going to know who she is," Leonard said. "It's a good thing believe or not. I can see where it can be kind of annoying, but it's a good thing."

It's the ultimate sign of respect. Summers earned that.

Her high school career will be remembered for consistency as well as success. During the last four years, the 2019 Herald-Whig Player of the Year led Monroe City 16 or more victories each season and bookended her career with district championships. Along the way, she compiled numbers comparable to Monroe City legends Teresa Jackson and Dewella Holliday, even if it still feels surreal to be mentioned in such company.

"It's kind of crazy to me honestly," Summers said. "I never knew this is how my high school career would go, and this would be how it ended up. It's humbling."

Truthfully, it would have been difficult for anyone to imagine a 5-foot-8 post player could dominate the way she did.

"When you look at her stat line you would think she's a 6-foot-4, huge, intimidating post who owns the paint," Leonard said. "That's not her. She's 5-8, but she's really strong. If she can get her hands on the ball, something good was going to happen for us."

A three-time all-state selection and four-time All-CCC first-team pick, Summers became a double-double machine, recording double digits in points and rebounds in 83 of 112 career games. None was ever as impressive as the 36-point, 20-rebound effort she had in this year's Class 3 District 13 championship game against Palmyra.

"Throughout her career, she's had big games and been impressive, but we kind of get numb to it because it's what we expect," Leonard said. "We see it every day in practice and in every game. But that game was different. She was just incredible."

It wasn't the only time. You don't score 2,230 points or average 20 points and 11 rebounds over the course of a career without having a number of incredible moments.

The fact Summers strung them together so often is remarkable.

"The best word is impressive," Leonard said.

So is her humility.

"I don't think I ever got used to the attention," Summers said. "I just wanted to go out and play."

She did it so well no one will ever forget her name.

 

Summers by the numbers

4 -- Times named first-team All-Clarence Cannon Conference

22.3 -- Points per game to lead the area in scoring

36 -- Points scored in district championship game against Palmyra

62 -- Field goal shooting percentage as a senior

83 -- Career double-doubles in scoring and rebounding

112 -- Career games played, starting every one

2,230 -- Career points scored, second to Teresa Jackson in Monroe City history