NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Amber Jacobs: Home Court Advantage
Coach Amber Jacobs is making a fast break as she returns home to Clarks Summit as the Lady Defender's new Head Women's Basketball Coach and BBC's new Assistant Athletic Director.
Born in Elkhart, IN, Coach Jacobs considers BBC home. She spent six years living on campus - from third through eighth grade - as her parents were Resident Directors in Shaffer Hall. Her grandfathers - former BBC&S President Dr. Ernest Pickering and Dr. Jack Jacobs, a professor and department head - worked at BBC in the 1970s. Her parents - Roger and Dawn Jacobs - both graduated from BBC.
Her basketball career included success at nearby Abington Heights High School, Boston College, and in the WNBA.
Now, Coach Jacobs is aiming to influence students' lives at BBC through the sharing of her own experiences and the growing pains of God's love for her.
Visit the Defenders website and view the team's schedule at www.bbcdefenders.com.
Read more "In the Spotlights" here.
What are your favorite memories of growing up in Clarks Summit?
Many of my memories consist of the BBC campus. My dad was supervisor of the Student Center, so I spent many hours in the gym playing basketball as well as table tennis in the game room. There were also many football and baseball games happening out on the field. When the snow came, I remember building forts with guys in the dorm, going sledding behind Nordling, and playing chess.
Why did you go to Boston College?
Boston College was one of four schools I narrowed my college selection down to during the summer going into my senior year. In the end, it was the best fit for me on many levels. The campus was absolutely beautiful and slightly reminded me of the BBC campus feel with the Catholic architecture of the buildings and the compact/tightness of the campus. It was also a great school academically with high prestige. And lastly, the basketball fit my style. The coach was disciplined in fundamentals and demanded hard work. The team was just starting to get in to the Top 25 and gain respect nationally, and I wanted to continue that by playing a vital role on the team.
Where does your love for basketball come from?
From both my dad and mom, but more so my dad. They were both very athletic in high school and college, playing numerous sports themselves. My dad was a basketball and soccer coach throughout my childhood years, so I was surrounded by sports. One thing I appreciated of my dad and mom was that whatever sport my brother and I wanted to play, they made sure we learned how to play it correctly and were disciplined in the fundamentals. With that, I spent many hours working out in the gym with my dad doing basketball drills. But I loved it and the Lord blessed me with a gift. From there my passion for the game flourished, and I am grateful for the experiences I have gained.
Who or what had the most influence in your life in high school and college?
My dad had the most influence in my life in high school and college. He always demanded more from me and expected greater. He found a way to squeeze every ounce of potential out of me in a loving yet firm way. And with that, he always found the opportunity to turn basketball into life lessons. I am grateful for his impact on my life and how he pushed me to grow both as an athlete on the court and as a Christian woman off the court.
What was your WNBA career like?
I was drafted in 2004 as the 33rd overall pick, chosen by the Minnesota Lynx. I spent four years playing for the Lynx. The first two years as backup point guard, my third year as starting point guard, and my fourth year as being a "cheerleader" on the bench. In my fifth year I was picked up by the Washington Mystics, where knee injuries hindered me from playing much. I ended up moving to the Los Angeles Sparks where I finished my career getting to play with Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker, two of the greatest basketball players and women I highly respect. I am so grateful for my five years in the WNBA, the opportunity to be called one of the elite, and to be given an experience not many get to have.
What led you back to BBC?
The Lord certainly led me here. I can honestly say I never thought I would be a part of ministry in any way. However, throughout last year God began to tug on my heart and work in me. After college, I spent six years trying to figure out life and doing many of my heart's desires. Yet I never felt fulfilled in my purpose. Well, last year God worked in my heart to turn His desire for my life into my desire, and with that I was led to BBC. I am loving being a part of God's work.
When did you place your faith in Jesus Christ?
I trusted Christ as my Savior when I was five years old. I remember going to First Baptist Church in Elkhart, IN, one Sunday night and Pastor David Graham spoke on heaven and hell. I came back home that night telling my parents I wanted to make sure I would go to heaven. So they sat me down in the living room to discuss the salvation plan and my understanding of it, and then I knelt down by the couch and asked God to forgive my sins and come into my life as my Savior.
When and how did you get involved with coaching after being a player?
During my time in college, I knew I wanted to be a basketball coach. I love this game and am grateful for what it has given to me. So many coaches and teammates have impacted my life through this game and developed me as a basketball player and person. With that, coaching provides the opportunity to give back and pass on experiences and knowledge to other players. I accepted my first coaching position just out of college with the University of Toledo.
What is your favorite thing about coaching?
The relationships you build with your team. They aren't just basketball players, where I am striving to gain success on the court. They are also women who I want to grow not just on the court but off as well.
The story of Baptist Bible College & Seminary is best told through the lives of students and alumni. Share your story and tell others how God has been leading in your life. Visit www.bbc.edu/yourstory.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to learn and serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.
To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 1/19/2011 1:18:27 PM