Janelle Hubbard aspires to get into law enforcement after she graduates from Richmond. That seems ironic given how she has victimized one opponent after another with her soft-as-cotton jump shots and ability to knife through the lane while leaving victims in her wake.
It also deviates from the forensic psychologist she aspired to be. Her mother, after all, was a psychology major and Hubbard was hooked.
“When I was younger I was always around her when she was reading books or watching TV shows that dealt with the subject and I took an interest in it,” said the junior guard following a 25-point outing in a losing cause at St. Joseph’s last Wednesday.
That led Hubbard to developing a strong interest in law enforcement. She will acquire some first-hand experience this summer when she joins the Richmond Police Department as an intern.
“I have moved away from the forensic part of it and I have desired to get more into law enforcement,” she said. “I will be working with detectives and I am really looking forward to the internship this summer.”
Teams do not look forward to facing Hubbard. The Glenn Dale, Md., native celebrated the new year by reaching the 1,000-point plateau in a Jan. 2 victory at LaSalle. She achieved the milestone only 14 games into her junior season.
“It is a nice career accomplishment and it was definitely something to look forward to leading up to it,” she said. “It is not something I dwell on, though, because I need to keep moving on in my career.”
Moving on has been something Hubbard has been doing since arriving at Richmond as a decorated player out Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Md., six miles outside the nation’s capital.
The 5-8 Hubbard had an immediate impact on the Spiders as a freshman when she averaged 11.4 points per game, which she followed up by averaging 13.9 points last season. Through 18 games this year her 16.7 points paced the team and was good for third in the Atlantic 10.
Hubbard, who followed the effort at St. Joe’s with a career-high 32 points in a win at UMass on Saturday, feels the only person that can slow her down is the one she sees in the mirror each morning when she gets up.
“I have always had an issue with getting into my own head whether it is being too hard on myself or things like that,” she said. “I tell myself that I am my toughest opponent and the only person that can stop me from getting better is me.”
Apparently that is also the case when watching “Family Feud.” The game show, which debuted on television 40 years ago, is a hit with Hubbard and her teammates. In fact, there was some thought that they might want to attempt to appear as contestants.
“Last year we thought about doing a video and submitting it to the game show, but we never went through with it,” she said. “We make up teams and go up against each other. It can get pretty intense and I always enjoy getting the answers right.”
While the level of intensity can ramp up when watching a game show, Hubbard often sings or cracks jokes in the dressing room. Laughter is good medicine and she likes to keep the air light, which was something that was not always the case when growing up. After all, she is the youngest of six with the oldest 17 years her senior.
“It sure made me tough growing up,” she said when asked if the dinner table often yielded competitive juices in addition to those coming from her favorite food: her mother’s homemade fried chicken. “They are all my fans and they all support me incredibly. I love them so much.”
In return they must love watching the play of their young sister, who is on pace to be among Richmond’s top five all-time scorers by the time her career is over.
Above: Janelle Hubbard leads Richmond with 16.7 points per game this season. (Courtesy Richmond Athletics)