SMC standout follows in father’s footsteps
Basketball comes naturally for Jackie Nared, a junior on the Gaels women’s basketball team who’s burning up the boards this year.
Nared was raised around the game. Her father, Greg, played point guard at the University of Maryland in the late 1980s before spending several years as a high school and collegiate coach.
“My dad was never too pushy. That allowed it to be more fun than pressure,” Nared said.
The road to becoming a Gael wasn’t a straight one for Nared, a smooth-shooting guard who is as comfortable posting up inside or attacking the glass as she is stepping out to shoot the three-pointer.
She played her high school career in Portland, Ore., committed to her dad’s alma mater and spent her first collegiate season at the University of Maryland in College Park. But eventually, being so far away from home began to wear a bit. That’s where Saint Mary’s came in.
It only took one look to persuade her to transfer, she said. “It was really quiet, a beautiful campus. It was an easy choice.”
Her career in Moraga began in earnest with the 2011-12 season, when she averaged 13 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. But this season, she has really caught fire. In the first 20 games, Nared averaged 18.4 points and 9.1 rebounds, leading the conference in scoring and ranking second in rebounding.
Once the school year ends, Nared will train for one more season with the Gaels. And, if she ever needs a workout partner, she won’t have to look too hard.
“Even when I went home for winter break, my dad and I went and got some shots up,” Nared said. “Just like old times.”
—Ben Enos, Saint Mary's Athletics