Jasmine Plummer of Harvey, Illinois, took to playing football as a kid, eventually joining the Harvey Colts as part of the Pop Warner youth athletic organization. Coached by her uncle, Plummer became a star quarterback who led her team to the organization's Super Bowl when she was just 11 years old, becoming both the first female quarterback and the first black female athlete to do so. Her story was depicted in The Longshots, a film starring Keke Palmer.
Born in the earlier half of the 1990s, Jasmine Plummer was raised in Harvey, Illinois, and as a kid, took to playing football with other children in her neighborhood. With initial concern from her mother about taking up the sport, noting that she wasn't intimidated by boys much larger than she was, the young athlete was coached and mentored by her uncle, Fred Johnson. He eventually signed his niece up for the leagues that are part of Pop Warner, a nonprofit with international outreach that holds athletic programs for tweens and teens.
Plummer was signed onto the Harvey Colts as starting quarterback for the 7-to-9-year-old division. She was a force to be reckoned with and then some on the field, playing as a linebacker at times and also taking up competitive wrestling. Plummer would later describe a change in her personality when it came to football, noticing she became highly assertive and full of volume in contrast to her quieter, off-the-field demeanor. Plummer was also a stellar student, having received straight A's at her elementary school.
After joining the Colts' Junior Pee Wee division, Plummer and her team achieved an 11-1 season and headed to the Super Bowl. Thus, at age 11, she became both the first female quarterback and the first black female athlete to lead a team to the national championships in Pop Warners' decades-long existence. Though the Colts lost to the Southeast Apaches, history was nonetheless made through Plummer's efforts.
Movie Starring Keke Palmer
The year 2008 saw the release of the film The Longshots, which depicted Plummer's experiences and was directed by Fred Durst of rock group Limp Bizkit. Plummer herself was portrayed by actress/singer Keke Palmer, with her uncle, whose name became Curtis Plummer in the film, played by rapper/actor Ice Cube.
"Playing quarterback, in any league and no matter what age, is the hardest position in sports," Ice Cube said in an interview presented by ESPN's Sam Alipour. "For Jasmine to do it, and to take her team to the championship despite all of the obstacles, everyone telling, 'You can't do it,' to me is incredible. She's a very brave and very strong girl."
Other Athletics and Legacy
Plummer has gone on to become a star in other athletic endeavors, including track and field and varsity basketball for Joliet West High School. She's paved the way for other female athletes, with Pop Warner's football enrollment by girls doubling since Plummer's quarterback days. Other players outside of the organization have received national attention as well, including Caroline Pla and Erin DiMeglio.
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