SF State women’s basketball player Jolene Armendariz breaks single game and season record for most 3-point shots
The basketball player’s academic performance rivals the one she brings to the court
March 31, 2023
Jolene Armendariz grew up playing basketball against her older sister, who played a physical style. Armendariz decided to mold her game further from the basket, making buckets that count as three instead of two.
This season, Armendariz, a redshirt sophomore majoring in business, set the SF State single-season record for three-point shots made with 65, passing the previous record of 62 set in the 2002-2003 season. She also set a single-game record with seven three-point shots made. The previous record was six.
“I have always been a shooter, my whole life,” said Armendariz. “I grew up playing with my sister who is two years older than me, and she was the opposite of me ––she was the bulldog always wanting contact and finishing. But me? I was different, I was more of a finesse player. If I can get you and make you fall and then shoot, that’s how I wanted to play.”
Despite Division I offers coming through during high school, the grass was not always greener for Armendariz. She took a mental health break during her senior year after many of the team’s coaches lost their job.
“I started losing scholarships because of certain coaches’ comments about me that were not true and that destroyed me as a player because my whole life was basketball. It was too much pressure at one point,” Armendariz said.
When Armendariz took a visit to SF State, it was not all about basketball. Enhancing her mental health was a big reason why Armendariz decided to become a Gator.
“When I did take my visit here, it wasn’t even about basketball,” Armendariz said. “It was just more so about taking care of me and they will do whatever they need to do in order for me to build my love back for basketball and just me as a person and that sold me, that was huge.”
Armendariz received D1 offers in her sophomore, junior and senior years of high school, but she ultimately decided to go D2 to help her mental health.
Armendariz tied the single-game record in her freshman season with six threes made at SF State and ultimately broke the record this season with seven threes made in a game. As the record got closer to her reach, Armendariz could feel the moment coming.
“I had six threes before the fourth quarter and I was like ‘oh yeah, I got it for sure,’” Armendariz said. “As soon as I shot the shot, I was super excited and you can see all the emotions in that moment, but we had to get back on defense. In my head, I set a court memory for myself.”
Armendariz averaged 11.2 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game on the season. Despite the personal accolades, the season did not go the way it was planned to go in terms of team success. The team has a record of 8-20 on the season.
“The expectation was definitely to be the first to do everything, we wanted to make the postseason and we definitely did not want to have a losing streak,” Armendariz said. “The season did not go as planned but there were a lot of injuries and we just did not click as a team this year, which is unfortunate because we did have all the talent.”
The energy that Armendariz brings to the game was felt and appreciated by her teammates.
“I loved how she would get really hyped when she made her threes and she would look right at me and hold up threes on both her hands in the game,” said freshman Eriel Banks. “It made the game even more fun for me.”
Work ethic has never been a problem with Armendariz and the leadership role that she displayed was contagious throughout the team.
“I have known Jolene for four years. She has always been super hard working and ambitious, she has always been a great leader,” said senior Taimane Lesa-Hardee. “The past four years, she has always been someone that’s always put in extra work after practice and even before practice. Her work ethic is really incredible and as her teammate, you are drawn to people that work hard.”
Breaking records was no mystery for Armendariz. In high school, she broke the California Interscholastic Federation record for most threes in a game with 15 of them.
In addition to her work ethic on the court, Armendariz has also displayed a great work ethic in the classroom as a straight-A student.
“I always handle business in the classroom, I believe that is super important,” Armendariz said. “It should always come first, especially because being a student-athlete, being a captain you are a leader to everybody else. I always had to lead by example and I just feel like that was just a part of me.”