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Jones signs with Lady’Back basketball; first in-state for Gardner

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Jones signs with Lady’Back basketball; first in-state for Gardner

FAYETTEVILLE – Blytheville forward Whitney Jones signed her National Letter of Intent to play basketball at the University of Arkansas, Lady Razorback head coach Susie Gardner announced today. The 6-0 forward signed on the final day of the early signing period, and joins 5-10 swing guard Ayana Brereton of Angleton, Texas, in Gardner’s 2005 recruiting class. “Whitney has the potential to be a force in the SEC,” Gardner said. “She has the strength of a SEC player and a great work ethic.” Averaging 21 ppg in the first games of her senior season, Jones turned in 17 ppg and 11 rpg as a junior for head coach Melissa Young at Blytheville. “She’s an outstanding athlete that works above and beyond, and she’s a leader for our team,” Young said. “She can score with her back to the basket and she can put the ball on the floor. She’s very quick and can handle the ball. We use her to bring the ball up the floor at times.” Jones comes from an athletic family, and becomes the first daughter of a Lady Razorback to sign at Arkansas in women’s basketball. Her mother, Diann Ousley Jones, was the first track and field national champion for the Lady’Backs, taking the national indoor 600-yard championship in 1979. Her mark of 1:21.22 remains the school record for the retired event. Jones’ oldest sister, Wendlyn, played in the Final Four last season for LSU and is a returning junior starter for the second-ranked Lady Tigers. Sister Audrey currently plays for Xavier of New Orleans. “We knew when she came on her visit that she wanted to come and was excited about the chance to play at Arkansas,” Gardner said. Jones ran track her sophomore season for the Chickasaws, finishing third in the 100 meters at the Eastern Conference meet in 2003. Jones’ size and speed along with Brereton’s open court skills gives Arkansas a potent tandem of open court players for next season. “Whitney can play both inside and outside,” Gardner said. “She will fit right into our system just like Ayana.” Arkansas loses three seniors this season – all guards – in senior transfers 5-10 April Seggebruch and 5-8 Adrienne Bush and walk-on 5-5 Allison Singleton. The Lady Razorbacks open the 2004-05 season Friday with three-time defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Alabama State at 7 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)