By Mike Blackerby
Paige Redman is 119-19 with three state tournament appearances in her four years as coach of Oak Ridge’s girls basketball team. It’s no coincidence that Jada Guinn was with her every step of the way.
Guinn, the 5Star Preps Girls Basketball Player of the Year, is one of those once-in-a-generation talents who helped restore Lady Wildcats basketball to prominence during her stellar run.
Oak Ridge averaged 30 victories a season and won 86 percent of its games during Guinn’s four-year career.
The previous four years before Guinn’s arrival the Lady Wildcats were 56-62.
The 5-foot-9 guard who will play for Tennessee Tech in college averaged 26 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals this season as Oak Ridge finished 34-3.
She led Oak Ridge in all four statistical categories for the last two seasons.
The Lady Wildcats were eliminated in the state Class AAA tournament by eventual champion Bradley Central, 56-50 in overtime.
Guinn, a Miss Basketball finalist, leaves quite the legacy.
She totaled more than 2,000 career points to finish second on the all-time Oak Ridge career scoring list behind Keke Stewart.
Guinn set a single-game scoring record this season with a 45-point outburst against Karns. She eclipsed the Oak Ridge single-season points record previously held by Nikki Caldwell. She even provided a few heroic moments, like her game-winning 3 to claim the 2019 Region 2-AAA Championship.
— Myles Hebrard (@myleshebrard) February 28, 2019
“I would think Jada would be up there with the top three or four players who have ever been here,” said Redman.
“If you look at what she did and what the teams she has been a part of have done, it’s kind of unheard of.”
Guinn jumped right in as a freshman, helping the Lady Wildcats go a surprising 30-5 with a loss to Riverdale in the state championship game.
“I came here (to high school) to win,” said Guinn.
“We tried to bring back the Oak Ridge tradition like it was in the past.”
Guinn not only lighted up the stat sheet this season, she took charge of the team and became the vocal team leader.
It was a role that came grudgingly her first three seasons.
“Jada and I had this conversation in the past,” said Redman.
“I told her it was her turn to step up in a leadership role. I don’t know if she was comfortable doing that in the past.”
It was a newfound role that Guinn embraced – and her teammates gladly hopped on board for the ride.
“From the previous three years to now (her senior year), I became more like a leader,” offered Guinn.
“This year we had a family like environment. We were all very close.”
Along with fellow senior Shatyra Copeland, Guinn showed the way for the younger players.
“Jada and Shatyra did such a great job of leading this group,” said Redman.
“The younger kids really looked up to them.”
More than anything, winning at a high level once again became a habit at Oak Ridge on Guinn’s watch.
“Our first year with Jada we didn’t really know how to win,” explained Redman.
“She eventually knew how to win or was able to figure it out.”