2018 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day: Jenna Moser's rise at Washington from practice player to starter
SAN FRANCISCO – It’s rather common for a college basketball player to grow into bigger roles throughout her career from freshman to senior year, but not everyone makes quite the strides that Washington guard Jenna Moser has. Now entering her redshirt senior year, Moser has gone from not even on the roster to scholarship player and second-year full-time starter.
“It has been a lot of ups and downs. It’s hard to stay focused a lot of the times when you’re in a practice player role, when you’re in a night on the bench role,” Moser said at 2018 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day. “Through the coaching change and through the role change, I’ve learned a lot. I think my character has grown a lot. I’ve been asked to step outside of my comfort zone, a lot of times by Jody [Wynn] and a lot of times by my teammates just to be a better example in a lot of things.”
Moser spent her freshman season (2014-15) as a practice player and was not included on a roster that featured high-impact players Kelsey Plum, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft, Jasmine Davis, the school’s second all-time leading scorer, and Chantel Osahor. Making the roster for the 2015-16 season, Moser played in a combined 14 games the next two seasons before bursting onto the scene in 2017-18, getting a scholarship before the season and starting all 30 games to become the third-leading scorer on the team at 8.7 points per game. Quite the cycle of life on Montlake.
Even head coach Jody Wynn acknowledged that she didn’t really know too much about Moser when taking over the team heading into the 2017-18 season. It really wasn’t until the fall conditioning program – Moser spent her 2017 summer doing an internship with Nike, so she wasn’t around the team – that Wynn realized what she had.
“When we first got Jenna and we first met Jenna, it was just ‘hey, this kid is just a walk-on on the team,’” Wynn said. “And she returned to campus in September and just blazed through the conditioning tests on day one, and it was like, wow, who’s this kid. And from then it was like immediate respect.”
The respect for Moser was evident not only from Wynn’s comments, but also from teammate Amber Melgoza, who gave Moser a fist bump when Wynn talked about Moser’s conditioning prowess.
The 2018-19 campaign is a total bonus for Moser, who wasn’t sure she’d get a fifth year. She’s just glad she gets another year to be with her team.
“It’s really just a happy feeling,” Moser said. “I feel really good to get a fresh opportunity and to get new chances and to have another class coming in that I get to help lead and another year with the girls and the staff.”
And the Huskies are glad to have her back.
“She’s just an incredible young woman, and you hope that you can always have people of her character, and like Amber as well, in your program,” Wynn said.