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Another 'Great Dayne': Jada Dayne stars at Waunakee

By Emily Kumlien, ekumlien@wisctv.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:46:12 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 24 2013 07:21:34 PM CST
WAUNAKEE, Wis. -

Ron Dayne's record-breaking career at Wisconsin has a special place in Badger football history.

Fans remember the Rose Bowls, the Heisman, the long runs. Perhaps some even remember one of his biggest cheerleaders in the stands; Dayne's daughter, Jada, was only 2 years old when he won the 1999 Heisman trophy.

Jada is now a 15-year-old freshman who is making a name for herself on the Waunakee varsity girls basketball team.

"People will say, 'Wait, is your dad Ron Dayne?' And I'll be like, 'Yeah.' And then it just starts a whole conversation and they are like, 'Do you know how lucky you are?'" said Jada.

"I mean, you are talking about one of the greatest college running backs ever and that athletic ability has carried down to his kid," said Waunakee girls basketball coach Brad Lussier.

"Me and my dad talk a lot and we are close. He has come to my games and he is really supportive, and he is really into us succeeding in both sports and school," said Jada about her relationship with her dad.

Her teammates have embraced her on the varsity team and all that comes with having the last name of Dayne.

"The first thing we noticed was at the Franklin tournament there was some sort of memorabilia from Ron Dayne, and they announced at half time they were handing it out, and Jada was like, 'What?' And everyone thought that was funny," said Waunakee senior and teammate Samantha Murray.

Although Jada has a very promising athletic career at Waunakee, she has not lost sight of the importance of being a student athlete.

"I think school is really important, and I am keeping my grades up, and I am focused on this for finals," said Jada.

"The fact that she is humble and easygoing has endeared her to her teammates and made her easy to accept," Lussier added.

"She is a very good basketball player, and she has so much time to improve and get better over the next four years," said Murray.

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