By: Jayden Presley
Jordan Jones said she knew she wanted to play on the collegiate level from the moment she picked up a basketball.
She started playing basketball in the fourth grade, growing up in Roebuck, Ala. with her mother and brother.
“It’s a city on the outskirts of Center Point and Five Points,” said Jones. “It’s always been me, my mom, and my brother growing up until she got remarried. I’ve learned to always earn things that I want in life, instead of getting them handed to me.”
She said basketball taught her endurance, determination and patience, but her faith is the biggest part of her game.
“These few ways have molded and equipped me to be the independent, black female that I am today. It has allowed me to have the mindset that I could do anything I put my mind and faith to,” said Jones. “Without God at the beginning and at the end, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish nothing on or off the court.”
“I see Aari McDonald as a role model, because no one ever knew who she was until she believed in herself to go do what needed to be done,” said Jones. “Growing up, I never had the recognition when I did the right thing or got the right grades… because it was supposed to be expected.”
Despite the lack of recognition for hard work, Jones said that getting older taught her to “always go 110%” regardless of what the reward or recognition might be.
“McDonald proved everyone wrong that a small guard could lead her team to the finals and make it to the WNBA,” added Jones. “She broke the standard and that’s exactly what I want to do.”
Jones chose Montevallo because of the environment and atmosphere she felt when visiting one of the basketball practices. She is now a senior majoring in biomedical chemistry with a concentration in kinesiology, planning to use her extra eligibility year and graduate in May 2023.
“After college, I plan on playing professional basketball overseas to continue my career as an athlete. If able, while attending dentistry school so that I can become an oral surgeon after the ball stops bouncing,” said Jones.
She said balancing schoolwork and athletic life is not as hard as it seems, “as long as you do not procrastinate.” Long bus rides and trips allow her to study for tests or finish assignments. She said the challenge motivates her to do schoolwork to play the game she loves.
“I describe my work ethic as ‘unstoppable.’ Why? Because whatever is thrown at me, no matter how hard it is or how much anxiety it gives me, I will always complete the task, and I will always go 100%,” said Jones. “I am so hard on myself when it comes to anything in life. No one is going to stop me from getting the best out of myself but me, and I can’t let myself be the obstacle, so I push even harder.”
Jones is a guard for the Falcons women’s basketball team, wearing the number 23 jersey. The only personal goal she has for the upcoming season is to help her team win.
“That’s it. If it’s defense, assists, rebounding… that’s what I’ll do. Every game is different because every team is different,” Jones said. “That’s where versatility comes in. As far as team goals, WE ARE CHASING A RING!”
Her favorite basketball moment happened when she shot over 50% in a game from all areas. She said that she scored most of the points on her high school team, so coming to a school with multiple scorers made her lose her confidence.
“I also lost my confidence because I had no idea how to fit in,” said Jones. “So, when I finally learned my place as a versatile player, I easily started getting chemistry with multiple teammates and confidence back in myself as a scorer and defender.”
The women’s basketball team play their first home game on Friday, Nov. 12 against the University of West Georgia at 1 p.m.
Jayden Presley is the sports editor for The Alabamian. She is a sophomore mass communication major, concentrating in multimedia journalism, and also minors in creative writing. She enjoys writing in her spare time, drawing and playing video games.