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Fayette-ware standout fights through criticism, becomes local basketball star

Jasteven was often criticized by peers you believed he didn't live up to their expectations on the court, until he exceeded them.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After fighting through the harsh criticism from his peers for years, one Fayette-ware senior has emerged as one of the best basketball players to come from the area

“Jasteven was a hungry, lanky, kind of uncoordinated kid with a lot of potential,” said Jasteven's head coach Demarius Chearis.

Born to two former basketball players turned coaches, Jasteven Walker grew up around the game.

Naturally, he wanted to be the next baller in his family, but it was easier said than done.

“I think I cried one day after practice because everyone was so harsh, my classmates were like, you’re just on the team because your mom’s the coach, or you’re just on the team because you’re tall,” said Jasteven.

He was 6’2 in 8th grade, but in just two years, grew to be 6’10. 

Although an advantage, he had to find a way to adjust his game in a way that his height would be effective at the forward position.

“He had hard times, A lot of the times he asked, why do I have to work so hard? Why do I have to do so much?' We told him, you have a long way to go and it not going to just come to you because we’re your parents,” said Jasteven's mom Lashante Walker.

“If you start something finish it if you put your all into it because we are going to support you but we need you to go hard,” his dad Steven Walker added.

Jasteven took their advice.

“It was some days where I know I didn’t want to go workout but I know I got to do it if I want to be able to feed my family or provide,” Jasteven explained.

In addition to the push from his parents, Fayette-ware head coach Demarius Chearis made it a priority to develop Jasteven's game.

“He looked forward to challenges, so I challenged him his freshman year and said, I need you to do two things for me. I need you to defend and block shots and I need you to rebound,” said Chearis.

He answered the call, later leading the state in blocked shots according to Chearis.

His game continued to evolve in the front and backcourt. 

Not only a threat defensively but he also shooting from long range and dominating the paint with rebounds and put backs.

Jasteven caught the interest of multiple colleges including former University of Memphis assistant coach Tony Madlock who later signed him to play for South Carolina State in the fall.

Thankful for his support system, Jasteven is now the player every peer respects headed to play Divison 1 ball for an HBCU.

“I had to make sure my momma was happy and when I’m coming down the court and see a smile on her face it’s like yeah we got to keep going. When I see my dad standing and cheering it’s like yeah, we got to keep going,” said Jasteven.

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