Jennie Simms at the surface

Posted at 11:09 PM, Feb 14, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. - On this Valentine's Day, we share a love story - one featuring the love of basketball.

Old Dominion women's hoops star Jennie Simms ranks second in the nation in scoring. Folks around the conference and around the country know her name and know her game. But we wanted to find out a bit more. Who is Jennie Simms? We got our answer straight from the source.

In order to hear her name called after a made basket, Jennie Simms must put up with the sound of an annoying buzz from above.

ODU senior guard Jennie Simms

ODU senior guard Jennie Simms

"I come in the gym a lot," Simms said pointing towards the lights. "This annoying sound you hear right now, I hear all the time."

Buzz from the lights in Old Dominion's practice gym is sometimes the only company Simms keeps. That's because of the hours she keeps. The ODU senior often works out on her own in the middle of the night, or in the morning before class.

"Everybody sees her late at night here," explained ODU head women's basketball coach Karen Barefoot. "Jennie, you need some rest," she said smiling.

"If I'm not doing it, somebody else is getting better," Simms said as she explained her work ethic.

But in 2012, her love for the game was gone and the lights went off. Simms was in a dark place.

"I was extremely unhappy," Simms recalled. "I started to lose the love for the game. It was really rough being there. I lost a lot of weight."

She transferred from West Virginia just eight games into her freshman season. She's now eighth all-time on ODU's career scoring list.

ODU senior guard Jennie Simms

ODU senior guard Jennie Simms

"There will never be another Anne Donovan, there will never be another Ticha [Penicheiro] here," Simms explained, as she rattled off some of the greatest names to ever play at ODU. "I just don`t want there to ever be another Jennie Simms."

And as automatic as a Simms jump shot, you can be sure there are a few youngsters here in Hampton Roads who will never forget Jennie.

ODU's Jennie Simms signs an autograph for a young fan

ODU's Jennie Simms signs an autograph for a young fan

"I was that person one time," Simms said referring to her as a youth basketball player. "I was the person looking up to people."

Whether it's "Education Day" or the Lady Monarchs' "Hoops for the Cure" game, Simms spends time afterwards with youngsters. She works the crowd so effortlessly, you'd think it was a Conference USA defense.

"That shows exactly who she is," Barefoot pointed out. "People see her as Jennie Simms working hard, putting big numbers up. But off the floor she'd give the shirt off her back to anyone. She's so giving and caring."

Because of the impact she's making on and off the floor, there will be a buzz around Jennie Simms long after those practice gym lights are turned off.