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Jas Brown

Image: Ben Lumley

Jas Brown has got everyone asking the same question: where has she come from?

The answer takes in manicured tennis courts, nervous first steps into netball and a potential three-way fight for her international dress.

So, let’s start at the beginning of Brown’s netball journey, which was only five years ago.

“I had no knowledge of netball,” the 22-year-old admits. “I didn’t really know it was a thing back then.

“It wasn’t really a thing at school, and I was playing tennis growing up. But tennis just became quite isolating.

“I think at a young age when you’re playing to quite a high level and you’re travelling up and down the country every weekend, you want to hang out with your friends and just chill.

Jasmine Brown playing tennis

“I got to a breaking point with that and said to my parents, ‘I just want to play a team sport’, and I fell across to netball.

“I remember my first ever session, I absolutely dreaded it. I didn’t even want to get on to court, I didn’t even want to get changed.

“But now I’m so glad I did because since then it’s just been up and up.”

From Doncaster Rebels Netball Club, Brown joined Charnwood Rutland where she met Jo Trip, who has gone on to become Severn Stars’ player-coach.

Trip invited the Loughborough University student to trial at Stars last season before making her a training associate and it was only a couple of months before her Netball Super League debut came in March 2023.

But even if the goal keeper looked like she was taking it all in her stride, she admits her rise has not always been easy.

She added: “It wasn’t a smooth transition into the Stars set-up, to be honest. I struggle with new environments.

“Initially, I dreaded going to training for Severn Stars, absolutely dreaded it.

“I have a lack of experience compared to the rest of the girls and that was what I was most scared of was people thinking like, ‘Who’s that girl? Why is she here?

“Obviously, they never, ever would have thought that but that’s just my way of thinking, so I absolutely dreaded it.

“But now I know the girls a lot better, they’re like my best friends. And I have a lot more knowledge of the NSL set-up and what to expect, so that’s just going to help me get through this season.”

Brown made five appearances for Stars in 2023, but it was at the Season Opener last weekend that the goalkeeper truly announced herself.

She was awarded Player of the Match as Stars defeated Leeds Rhinos 57-41 with six deflections and eight gains.

For Trip, Brown’s emergence has seen the New Zealander move from goal keeper to goal defence, and in time she hopes the youngster will keep her off the court entirely.

Trip said: “I think players like Jazzy Brown are super exciting and she has gone from strength to strength.

“And I’ve always been of the mindset that I’d love a player to retire me. I’ve always been like, ‘take the bib.’

“I’m going to work hard to keep it but work harder to take it and I’m never going to hold a player back.

“Jas for me is one that’s massively stepped up, her story is incredible.

“She plays with instinct; she plays so naturally and that’s something we’re trying to keep in her game.

“I think she is going to be someone to definitely watch this season.”

Some of the people who will likely be watching are the head coaches of the three medallists at last year’s Netball World Cup.

That is because Brown qualifies to represent England and Jamaica through her father and Australia through her mother.

But, it is no surprise that the humble South Yorkshire native is only concerning herself with things inside her control.

She said: “I think this year, especially I’m just focusing on Stars, that’s my main focus.

“If the opportunity came around, then I will consider it, but at the moment, I’m just on Stars.”

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