After a courageous two-year battle with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, former Lancer women’s basketball point guard Angeline Jefferson died Sunday. She was only 21-years-old.
A member of the 2012-13 women’s basketball team, Jefferson touched many lives both on and off the basketball court and was an inspiration to everyone she came in contact with.
“A.J. was that spirit that held our team together both emotionally and spiritually,” former women’s basketball player Shay Jackson said. “She definitely made me see something different. For her to be so young and to see what she went through really showed me a lot. She was definitely a fighter.”
A sophomore reserve guard for the Lancers two seasons ago, Jefferson joined the Lancers only a few months after her cancer went into remission. In 21 games, Jefferson averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 assists, but her leadership was immeasurable, according to head coach Joe Peron.
“Her wisdom that she expressed and shared with the team last year as a player, and this year as a part of our staff was unmatched,” Peron said. “She was good for our program. I’m glad she came here to play for us after leaving Cal State LA.”
A native of Sylmar, California, Jefferson played prep basketball at Blair and Maranatha High School before earning a scholarship to play basketball at Cal State LA.
Before being diagnosed with cancer in March of 2012, Jefferson finished her first season with the Golden Eagles, where she appeared in 25 games and started the last six games of the season. In her single season at CSULA, Jefferson averaged 4.1 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
“I remember watching her in high school,” Peron said. “A.J. was an exciting point guard that made things happen on the basketball court. When I had a chance to coach her I was thrilled because of the excitement she brought to the game. She was a great passer and she never took a play off. She was a hustler on the court and so special off the court.”
Majoring in Child and Family Studies, Jefferson was on target to graduate from PCC later this year.
“AJ was a hard worker,” assistant coach La’Nette Dillard said. “She was outgoing and very optimistic on life. She was just a fun person to be around. She was definitely the heart of this program and she will be greatly missed.”
Despite her battle with cancer, the point guard, whom Peron called “electrifying,” was a leader and inspiration to everyone she came in contact with.
“AJ was fun and a joy to be around.” Jackson said. “She had a great spirit and even bigger heart. She accomplished a lot of things that none of us could have in the short time she was here. She was overall a good person and her spirit was very motivating. She was the mother of our team.”
Angeline Jefferson’s wonderful spirit and talents will be celebrated at 2 p.m. on Sunday April, 13 at Spirit Food Christian Center located at 20550 Roscoe Blvd., Winnetka, CA.