During this month’s March Madness youth basketball tournament in Wellington, co-hosted by the Wellington Wolves travel basketball organization and U.S. Amateur Basketball, there were 97 teams competing in 17 age groups. But the biggest spotlight was focused on a girl who didn’t even play in this year’s tournament — former Wellington Wolves standout Jahnae Midget.
Midget’s number was retired during an on-the-court ceremony. Her Wellington Wolves jersey number was six. Midget is the second player — and first female — to have a number retired by the Wellington Wolves. She follows Trent Frazier, who wore number one. A Wellington High School graduate, Frazier is now a starting senior point guard for the University of Illinois, which is a top-10 nationally ranked squad in the current Associated Press poll.
Midget, now a senior at Seminole Ridge High School, played travel basketball for the Wolves starting in the fifth grade. Even though she is no longer eligible to play for the Wolves, as the oldest players are high school juniors, her best basketball playing days remain ahead of her. She will be continuing her academic and basketball careers at Palm Beach Atlantic University this fall.
The Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish, an NCAA Division II program, compete in the Sunshine State Conference alongside Barry University, Rollins College, Eckerd College, Florida Southern College, Nova Southeastern University, St. Leo University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Tampa.
Besides being a talented basketball player, Midget is a tremendous student. She’s a member of the National Honor Society, English Honor Society and has a grade point average of 4.6. Her career goal is to be an orthopedic doctor.
Over the years, she has earned many tournament and team MVP awards while playing basketball for the Wolves. Off the court, Midget is respectful to others and is dedicated to her studies.
“Most importantly, Jahnae is a humble kid,” Wellington Wolves President Chris Fratalia said.
Maria Hudson, her basketball coach at Seminole Ridge, had high words of praise for Midget’s positive attitude, commitment to excellence and academic integrity.
“She could have played for any of the area powerhouse schools, but she chose to attend Seminole Ridge because of our biotech program,” Hudson said. “She has stayed here all four years.”
It was only appropriate that on the weekend that Midget’s number was retired, her family experienced more success on the basketball court. During that March Madness tournament, a Wellington Wolves team including her younger sister Jayla won the girls ninth-grade division championship.
In the championship game, the Wolves prevailed over the Coastal Thunder, a team from Maine that made the journey down to South Florida. In the finale, the Wolves prevailed 64-53.
What made that victory more special is that Jayla Midget and her teammates were actually playing in an older age division.
According to Fratalia, that Wolves team which won the ninth-grade division was actually a group of eighth graders.
If that young, victorious Wellington Wolves squad continues to overachieve and win more tournament titles in the coming years, will they get their numbers retired one day? Only time will tell.