West

CAMPUS ANGLE

Jaimie Renner picks up the ball at Amherst

19wecampus - Jaimie Renner, Amherst College and Newton North basketball. (Amherst College)

Amherst College

Jaimie Renner puts up a shot against Rochester.

A four-year starting point guard, Jaimie Renner brings court sense and a calming influence to the nation’s top-ranked women’s basketball team at Amherst College.

“Jaimie runs the show from her position and steadies our team,’’ Amherst head coach G.P. Gromacki said. “She makes key steals and hits the shots when we need her to come through. As a senior, she’s playing with more urgency and has stepped up her game, but always with great composure.’’

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Amherst, a perennial Division 3 power, was 24-0 (10-0 NESCAC) and is the top seed in the conference tournament that begins Feb. 18. Since the 5-foot-8 Renner’s freshman year, Amherst has advanced twice to the NCAA Tournament’s third round and to last season’s Final Four.

A mathematics and psychology major, the 22-year-old Renner was averaging 6.2 points per game and making her shots count — hitting 50.5 percent of her field-goal attempts and 51.7 percent on three-point shots.

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She was also the team leader in assists, ranking seventh in program history in that category. Renner was also among the team leaders in steals.

A transfer from Newton South to Newton North, Renner also attended Worcester Academy for one year.

Her sister, Jackie, starred at Newton South and played a key role down the stretch at point guard for Amherst in its drive to the NCAA title in 2011.

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Their mother, Kathie, played basketball at Hopedale High; their brother, John, played ice hockey at Newton South.

Q. How has your perspective changed since your freshman season?

A. After being in a lot of different situations, I’m able to do things more naturally. When I was a freshman, I didn’t know what to expect and as each season passed, I became more confident, especially in calling the right play.

Q. What is Jackie doing now, and what is the best advice she has given you?

A. She’s a data analyst in the health insurance field. Jackie has always told me to stay confident and keep my head up no matter what the situation.

Q. What are your plans after graduation?

A. I haven’t looked intently yet but I’m considering something in marketing or analytics. The math and psych major combo could be a good fit.

Q. When did you first shoot a basketball?

A. I was about 4 or 5, and I remember I couldn’t reach the basket in our driveway when I shot, so when I first hit the rim, it was quite an occasion.

Q. How different is the post-season from the regular season?

A. Our team approach isn’t that much different, but there is a more exciting feel to the post-season games. That’s when we want to be playing our best and when I want to make the best possible decisions.

Q. What has been your favorite college course?

A. Two of my favorites were sports psychology, where I found the topic of goal setting helpful, and the practice of art, which involved drawing, sculpting, and painting.

Q. Is there a food you can’t go without?

A. Eggs. My favorite meal is breakfast. I order fried eggs here when they make them and scrambled eggs when they don’t. I cook them for the family when I’m home.

Q. What do you enjoy most about playing the point?

A. It’s an unselfish position that enables me to set up my teammates. And since I also defend the other team’s point guard, I can set the tone defensively.

Q. What is the most memorable shot of your college career?

A. This season at Randolph-Macon College. I was bringing the ball up with time running out in the first quarter, and I let one go from beyond half court that swished in. It felt good coming out of my hands, but it was still a surprise.

Q. What do you do away from the court at Amherst?

A. I grade problem sets once a week for intermediate calculus class, and I’ve been tutoring math since sophomore year. My parents always encouraged math as an important subject, and I love solving problems.

Q. You also played ice hockey, right?

A. Yes, my senior year at Newton North. I played defense, and it was great fun. We made the MIAA tournament. My basketball eligibility was used up because of the transfer and also going to Worcester Academy.

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.
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