NORMAN — Jasmine Hartman and Whitney Hand arrived as freshmen together at Oklahoma a little over four years ago.
Hand continues to be amazed at her classmate's growth and maturity over her career.
“She was an 18-year-old kid when she got here, and now she seems like a 40-year-old woman,” Hand said with a laugh. “She's wise beyond her years; a lot of that is because she's been through a lot while she's been here.”
Hartman had to learn to accept her role, which has fluctuated some but has mostly been as a reserve guard and defensive stopper for the Sooners, who host Bedlam rival Oklahoma State at 4 p.m. Sunday inside Lloyd Noble Center.
Accepting such a role is never easy for an eager, prideful freshman, but it had to be especially difficult for Hartman — a sophomore starter on Oklahoma's 2009-10 Final Four team.
“I think everything happens for a reason,” Hartman said. “I think God just has a plan for me, and being there for my teammates must be what I need to do.
“It's not just about me. It's about my teammates and making them better.”
Hartman's sophomore season was an important one in her career; aside from the 15 starts she earned, she scored a career-high 14 points in a March win over Oklahoma State.
That was also the season Hartman began to embrace the identity of a defensive ace.
Funny, because she admits not being very good on defense back at Bellaire High School in Houston.