Chattanooga-Born Jasmyn Wilkins To Compete In Miss USA Pageant On Sunday

Friday, June 1, 2012 - by Wendy King

As the daughter of UT-Chattanooga legend and former New York Knick Gerald Wilkins, the niece of Atlanta Hawks great Dominique Wilkins and the younger sister of Damien Wilkins of the Detroit Pistons, Jasmyn Wilkins has been surrounded by basketball prodigies since her 1990 birth in Chattanooga.

However, the 22-year-old nursing student at Georgia State University and Johns Creek resident may ascend to royalty herself on Sunday night when she competes in the Miss USA Pageant in Las Vegas. Coverage begins on WRCB-TV at 9 p.m. from the Planet Hollywood Performing Arts Center with hosts Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic. 

The winner will represent the USA at the Miss Universe Pageant later this year and will be an advocate for breast and ovarian cancer survivors and research. She will also work for pageant co-owners  Donald Trump and NBC Universal along with The Miss Universe Organization.

Tennessee’s entrant is Middle Tennessee State University student Jessica Hibler of Nashville and Auburn University graduate Katherine Webb from Phenix City is representing Alabama.

Miss Wilkins, who is nicknamed Jazz because she was a saxophonist in her prep school’s orchestra and marching band, had the ultimate beginner’s luck last November in Cartersville when she became Miss Georgia USA in her first ever pageant competition. If she wins on Sunday night and many industry insiders have tabbed her among the favorites for the title, she would become the first Miss USA from the Peach State in the event’s 60 year history.

The top 16 among the 51 contestants will compete in the finals, but one will be selected by virtue of being the top vote getter in a contest on the Miss USA website (http://www.missuniverse.com/missusa/members/contestants). The voting concludes at midnight Saturday.

While Miss Wilkins excelled in athletics at The Wesleyan School participating in the basketball family tradition but also in lacrosse and cross-country as well as serving as captain of the track and field team, she stated on her contestant page (http://www.missuniverse.com/missusa/members/profile/651301/year:2012/)  that she is delighted to have a change in footwear in her quest for the USA crown and the opportunities that accompany the title.

“I come from a family of incredibly hard-working professional athletes, and I traded my tennis shoes in for high heels in order to pursue my goal of becoming Miss USA.”

Her younger sister Holli will be playing basketball at Furman University after a stellar career at Wesleyan winning seven state titles and being nominated for Georgia’s Athlete of the Year.

Another motivation for Miss Wilkins is the opportunity to share her mother Vita’s story of undergoing two life-saving organ transplants after being diagnosed with the rare liver disease Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.

If Miss Wilkins doesn’t become Miss USA, she plans to resume her studies at Georgia State, where she is completing her senior year.  Her career goal is to become a nurse anesthetist or a dermatology nurse.

 


Camp Jordan Jams Rescheduled For Aug. 1

The city of East Ridge has postponed the scheduled Camp Jordan Jams on Friday and rescheduled for Aug 1, due to the possibility of inclement weather.  Parks and Recreation Director Stump Martin said there was too much of an investment made in the summer version of the Camp Jordan Jams to take a chance.  “Interim City Manager Mike Williams and I decided this is what’s ... (click for more)

Chattanooga’s Live Music Scene – Independence Day Weekend Fun

Options are plentiful for having some music related fun this 4 th of July weekend in the Chattanooga area. Starting Thursday, July 2 nd , Collegedale will host a celebration with the East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra playing at 6:45 p.m. and fireworks to follow at dark. Local food options will be available at the celebration. The celebration is scheduled for Veterans Memorial Park, ... (click for more)

Muslim Advocacy Group Questions House Arrest For Signal Mountain Man Charged In Threats Against Muslim Village In New York

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, on Saturday questioned the release of a Signal Mountain man who admitted to planning what it called "a Charleston-style terror attack" on a Muslim community in New York. CAIR also called for stepped up protection for the community targeted in the plot. Judge ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Tydings Is A Winner

One week from tomorrow the most important educator in the future of our community will start work as the new president of Chattanooga State. While I am normally cynical of beard-strokers and foundation-hungry dreamers who have little or no concept of the real world, I am convinced Flora Tydings will become the best thing to happen in our community in years. A grandmother with ... (click for more)