Women’s Basketball’s 5-foot-9-inch center

Sarah Janson is listed as 6 feet tall on the Hudson Valley Women’s Basketball team’s roster but she proudly stands at 5 feet 9 inches and she is the starting center.

“I’ve played post before and I may be undersize but I just gotta play big,” said Janson.

At Scotia-Glenville High School, Janson could play small forward or power forward but she never had to play center. Her coaches as well as her teammates believe she is adjusting just fine.

“She’s adjusting pretty well,” said teammate Samantha Tomeck. “As the season goes on she keeps working hard.”

“I really think she’s doing a great job,” said Head Coach Kathleen Russell.

Janson understands that basketball is a team sport and being someone who is playing a new position requires help from the rest of the team.

“I have a lot of faith in my teammates. I know I can do it with their help,” said Janson.

In five starts at center this season, Janson averages 10 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

Colleges in the conference have centers that are much taller than Janson, so those 7.4 rebounds a game are important.

“I know I just can’t rely on jumping. I know I have to get into her and box her out,” Janson said. “Second chance opportunities kill us, rebounding is very important.”

Jim Janson, Sarah’s older brother, is a fifth year student at Le Moyne College and is the starting center for the Men’s Basketball team who stands at 7 feet tall. Playing a big is in her genes.

“Back in high school he would always help me out,” Janson said. “When I used to watch him, he would get beat up and keep fighting and not give up and I learned a lot from him.”

Her brother is also one of the reasons she willingly took on the challenge of playing the new position.

“We’re both different players but he’s the hardest worker I know and he inspires me to become a better player,” Janson said.

Last year Janson attended Hartwick College and did not play basketball.
“I just wanted to focus on school and decide on what I wanted to do in school,” Janson said.

With this season just beginning, Janson feels as if she is getting her rhythm back.

“There’s always work to be done, but I feel good,” Janson said.

“I think it’s hard for her as well because she’s been away from the game for a little while but she’s really trying to do her best,” said Russell. “She’s doing the best she can and she seems like she’s enjoying herself.”

As the season progresses Janson is determined to raise her level of play.

“I want to get better defensively. I know I can play better than I am now,” Janson said. “I want to be a better team player.”

“She has to understand that she is a lot tougher than she thinks she is,” said teammate Nikki Cavallo. “She underestimates herself too much.”


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