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Jessica Hardin feels “blessed” to have been part of Kentucky basketball program

Jessica Hardin (UK Athletics Photo)

Kentucky plays its final home game Sunday against Mississippi State and senior Jessica Hardin, the former 12th Region Player of the Year at Wayne County, will be one of the players honored.

Injuries have taken a significant toll on her and limited her playing time but has not ruined her experience going from a normal student to trying out for the team as a walk-on and then going on scholarship.

Here’s what she had to say Friday.

On getting to play for Kentucky as a Kentucky kid …
“Yeah, it has been a great opportunity. I am just blessed that this opportunity arose for me. I am going to look back and have great times and remember all the memories I have made here at Kentucky. I am going to remember all these wonderful girls that I have met here. The experience is everything that I had hoped it would be. It has just been great.”

On her injuries and how she has had to contribute in different ways …
“Yeah, I have definitely been injured this year in different ways but I have just had to be more vocal because whenever I first came here to Kentucky I was not vocal at all and just trying to figure out your role coming straight in was hard. With last year, I had a lot of confidence with the team and getting to know everybody. I just try to be supportive of the team and cheer everybody on and be a good spirit throughout the whole process.”

On taking pride in leading the young team …
“I think with the freshman coming in it was definitely good for us to give them a foundation of what they need to progress further. I am really glad that we were here to experience it with them their first year as freshmen and hopefully we taught them some things that will help them grow and progress and help our program for years to come.”

On the team’s goals this season …
“I think that as we go forward the experience is really helping us. We have built this entire season and we just keep building. Who knows who far we will make it, but the fact that we keep building off of what we were before it is really good and that will just keep happening for next year as well.”

On her plans after college …
“I am currently looking for jobs. I am on the job search. I don’t know if I want to do grad school, that is definitely a potential. I could possibly do grad school or end up with a career after this. I am in the pursuit of a job.”

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