NORFOLK (WAVY) – Jennie Simms has spent her three years at Old Dominion University playing in the shadow of legends. Whenever she warms up, hits a three, or dazzles the home crowd at the Ted Constant Center, she does so under the names “Nancy Lieberman,” “Anne Donovan,” or “Ticha Penicheiro,” seen up in the rafters.
“My ultimate goal is to be a legend with them,” said Simms, who’s continued to forge her own legacy with the Lady Monarchs.
Now a senior, Simms’ 25.4 points per game this season is not only second in the nation, but could end up as the best season average in ODU history, ahead of Donovan’s 25.1. She’s averaged 21.7 points a game over her entire career, which is best in school history, and she owns more 30-point games (14) and 40-point games (3) than any Lady Monarch before her.
“One thing special about Jennie, a lot of them (the greats before her) had been here for four years. She’s getting it done in three,” said Lady Monarchs head coach Karen Barefoot.
Simms, who’s 1,954 career points ranks eighth on the school’s all-time scoring list, spent some of her freshman season at West Virginia University, but decided to transfer. Barefoot couldn’t pick up the phone quick enough.
“Her ultimate goal is a championship,” said Barefoot.
Simms says she’s wanted nothing more than to win games, and hopes to finish this season where her team fell just short of last season…a Conference USA Tournament championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
At the same time, she’s hoping her name ends up in the rafters right alongside the legends who built Lady Monarchs basketball. “Tha’ts the reason I stayed here, that’s the reason I came here,” said Simms. “I came her to get Old Dominion back on the map.
More so, she’s hoping spectators are one day asking, “Who’s going to be the next Jennie Simms?”