It has been six years since CSU women’s basketball player Jasai
Ferrucho said goodbye to her family and left her native country of
Columbia for the United States. Since then, she has played four
years for the Rams and is the current Mountain West Conference
leader in assists.
When she first arrived in the United States in 1998, Ferrucho
lived in Lubbock, Texas where she played for Coronado High School.
After graduation, she packed her bags and moved to Colorado.
“I loved my recruiting trip out here. I like the mountains and
how different it is from Texas and Columbia,” Ferrucho said. “I
liked the coaches and the team. I like playing basketball here. I
don’t like the weather that much. I am not used to it yet.”
While Ferrucho is enjoying her experience at CSU, she also
misses her family and life in Columbia.
“I miss my family, the food and speaking Spanish,” Ferrucho
said. “I have not seen my family in six years, but I talk to them
on the phone a lot.”
Sophomore Vanessa Espinoza is amazed by her teammate’s
“She hasn’t seen her mom in like seven years. It’s not something
I could do. Leave my family, learn a new language,” Espinoza said.
“I just don’t think I could do it.”
Ferrucho is one of two seniors on the team, along with forward
Joy Jenkins. The 5-foot-7 guard is the only returning starter from
the 2002-03 season and leads the team with 78 assists and is second
in steals with 27 this season. Ferrucho has set a great example for
the new freshman class.
“Jasai knows a lot about the game of basketball,” freshman Kylee
O’Dwyer said. “She wants to take the last shot, she’s an excellent
passer and defender. She’s smart on the court, and knows the
Ferrucho has been red-hot lately. Setting up scoring for her
teammates, she has recorded 34 assists in the last five games. She
tops the league with 4.6 assists per game against all opponents and
is first in MWC games with a 6.3 average.
“From two and a half to three weeks ago until now she has really
started setting people up,” CSU head coach Chris Denker said. “She
has almost a 3-1 assist to turnover ratio and she is doing
phenomenal things in that regard.”
Aside from assisting other players, Ferrucho has taken on many
other key roles for the team. She is a defensive threat and, with
four more steals, will move to 13th on CSU’s all-time steal
“She has always been a defensive player for us,” Denker said.
“She is an attacker in transition with her speed and driving
ability. Of late, she has become an assisting and passing player
With the recent hot-shooting of sophomore guard Vanessa
Espinoza, Denker is thinking of switching Ferrucho from shooting
guard to point guard and putting Espinoza in the shooting guard
“We are experimenting with the idea of moving (Ferrucho) to the
point and Vanessa to the two,” he said. “Vanessa has been shooting
3s well and we are kind of trying to change that dynamic.”
Ferrucho, who loves sharing the guard position with Espinoza, is
excited for the possible move.
“I like having the ball in my hands and creating shots for
(Espinoza),” Ferrucho said.
Ferrrucho is easy to point out on the court as she is always
wearing her trademark headband. The white headband with a black
Nike logo is something the guard never goes without, even at
“I just started wearing it one day. I just put it on and after
that day I just had to wear one,” Ferrucho said. “I feel weird if I
don’t wear one.”
She has also sported jersey No. 11 for the past three years. She
wore No. 21 her freshman year, but begged to change to 11 after the
senior who wore it graduated.
“I was No. 11 back at home in Columbia,” Ferrucho said. “I
started playing there when I was 12.”
Ferrucho has her eyes set on one goal this season: to make it to
the NCAA tournament. She scored a season-high 14-points in last
year’s WNIT semifinal loss to Baylor and wants another chance to
make a mark in the tournament.
“I want to take our team to the NCAA because last year we were
kind of there, but we did not go all the way,” Ferrucho said. “I
would like to go to the NCAA and show everyone that we can do it
and that we are a good team.”
Even though Ferrucho is in her fourth and final year of
eligibility for the Rams, she will continue to take classes at CSU
next fall. Ferrucho, who is an economics major, still plans to be
part of the team next year.
“I will probably do something with the team; practice with them
and have fun and not worry about the games,” Ferrucho said. “Most
of all, I just want to be able to go home soon.”