The world we live in today sadly embraces the “reality” element of media and many times loses sight of the bigger picture and the welfare of those in it. The recognition and exposure afforded high profile athletes often comes with a price tag that extends beyond the gym or recruiting trail. Sacrificing their privacy is a given…to a degree. Not every story, event or occurrence in the life of a prospective student athlete is news. Blue Star Media is committed to the coverage and evaluation of college prospects, the development of their games and ultimately their recruiting process and decisions. We are also committed to an educational component that on rare occasions will extend beyond the realm of basketball and recruiting. The following is an effort to assist a young woman in clarifying her much too public and very tragic personal situation as well as offer up some hope and awareness that might prevent another young lady from finding herself in similar circumstances.
Jannah Tucker of Randallstown, Maryland finished her high school career as the 4th ranked player nationally in the 2013 class. She has worn the uniform of USA Basketball and had signed a National Letter of Intent with the University of Tennessee. These are her words.
"First, I would like to start off by thanking everyone for all of the love and support that I've gotten over the past week. It is genuinely appreciated and has helped me to find my strength through all of the adversity. I know that there were numerous rumors circulating about what happened and I want to clear that up now.
I am a victim of domestic violence including both verbal and physical abuse.
There were many incidents of physical abuse this past summer with the last occurring on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. I was badly beaten and had several injuries. However, I was never in critical condition nor was I admitted to the hospital.
On September 25th, the police arrested Josh Gerard and charged him with second degree assault. The following day, the 26th, I got an emergency temporary protective order against the offender. That order was amended October 3rd becoming a permanent protective order which will be in effect for one year.
The reason I've been silent is because this experience has been deeply troubling and a very personal issue for not only myself, but my family as well. Sharing these details is important because I want to bring awareness to just how serious of an issue this is and can become.
I hope that people will understand why my privacy is so critical and important to me. I want what happened to me to inspire other girls to find their own voice and strength. I am not speaking out of spite or looking for revenge. My interest is to help others recognize and prevent domestic violence.
Thank you again for all the tremendous support and encouragement."….Jannah Tucker October 4th, 2013
If you are in an abusive relationship, feel threatened or know someone in need of help, please reach out. The following link is to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and provides information for resources in each state.
Mark Lewis is a national evaluator and photographer for Blue Star Basketball as well as the lead columnist for Blue Star Media. Twice ranked as one of the top 25 Division I assistant coaches in the game by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), he logged 25 years of college coaching experience at Memphis State, Cincinnati, Arizona State, Western Kentucky and Washington State. Lewis also serves as a member of the prestigious McDonald’s All-American selection committee. He resides with his wife Carol near Houston, Texas.