When senior day ceremonies take place at today’s Arkansas women’s basketball game, an additional bit of Razorback history will be honored for Whitney Jones. The senior post player from Blytheville, Ark., holds a unique place in Arkansas women’s sports as the first daughter of a former Razorback to attend the University of Arkansas and compete for the Razorbacks.
Jones’ mother, Diann Ousley Jones, was the first women’s track and field national champion at Arkansas.
One of the top middle distance runners of the early Razorback women’s track teams, Ousley won the national indoor 600-yard championship in 1979. Her mark of 1:21.22 remains the school record for the retired event. Ousley was one of the star athletes of the first track teams coached by current executive senior associate athletic director Bev Lewis.
Whitney’s athletic family saw older sisters sign to play Division I basketball at LSU (Wendelyn) and Xavier (Audrey).
In choosing Arkansas, Whitney became the first daughter of a former women’s athlete in the 47-year history of varsity women’s athletics at Arkansas. The university officially began varsity women’s sports in 1971-72. Several daughters of former Razorbacks have been members of Arkansas varsity teams, notably Elisha Brewer in track, the daughter of Razorback basketball “Triplet” Ron Brewer.
In her 114 game career to date, Jones has been a steady force for the Razorbacks in the paint. At 6-0, she is shorter than most of the post players she faces in the SEC, but her physical play is legend.
With 122 blocked shots, she ranks fifth all-time at Arkansas heading into the Alabama game.
She made her own history as a freshman by scoring 22 points coming off the bench in her first game as a Razorback against SMU. Not only setting the standard for freshman debut games, Jones was the first player in SEC history selected as Freshman of the Week.
A starter for Arkansas since her junior season, Jones has 654 rebounds to date, and is on pace to become only the firth player in school history to have over 700 boards in her career.
For more notable first women of African American heritage, please jump to The Legacy of Silas Hunt pages presented by the University of Arkansas.
The University of Arkansas’ Athletic Department recognizes its heritage and the countless contributions made by African-American student-athletes in all 19 of its varsity sports. The Razorbacks are proud to celebrate this great tradition and recognize some of the inspiring pioneers, great student-athletes and outstanding role models that have worn a Razorback uniform as a part of Black History Month.