They’ve had other children play college football and basketball, but with Jazmine Jones, a five-star wing, “We knew her athletic ability had far exceeded everything we’d gone through before.”
After a visit over the weekend to the University of Louisville, Jones, rated No. 21 overall in the class of 2016, announced a commitment Wednesday to the Cardinals. Other schools on her final list were Ohio State, Miami and hometown Florida State.
“If (U of L) can win her dad over — my husband over — that’s it,” Felicia Jones said. “He was sold, and he’s a die-hard FSU fan. So am I.”
At the least, Jazmine Jones’ family should expect at least one trip to Florida a year with both the Seminoles and Hurricanes in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
It wasn’t the only bit of good news coach Jeff Walz received Wednesday, as hours after Jones made her pledge, so, too, did another recent U of L visitor. In Philadelphia Imhotep Charter senior Bionca Dunham, the Cardinals landed a prospect on the rise.
Dunham was named all-league last senior as a junior in Philadelphia, where her team has won back-to-back city championships. She scored a team-high 18 points to lead Imhotep in this year’s Public League title game.
The commitments marked the third and fourth in coach Jeff Walz’s class, one that, as with his incoming group of freshmen, ranks among the best in the nation. Last week, U of L received another from New York guard Sydney Zambrotta, adding to a previous pledge by post player Kylee Shook. Both are Top 100 players as well.
A 6-foot senior at Florida A&M’s on-campus high school in Tallahassee, Jones was last season described by an ESPN scout as an “athletic off-guard” who “manufactures, elevates on jumper with range to arc.” The report adds that her “unpolished deep threat is key to next level impact.”
Jones averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and three steals as a junior. Playing a bit out of position at point guard, she guided her school to a Class 2-A state title.
“During the offseason, I worked on ball-handling so I’d be ready to play point and get my teammates involved,” Jones told her hometown paper, the Tallahassee Democrat, when named area Player of the Year in March. “I worked on being a better rebounder on the offensive and defensive ends. Now, there’s a whole other year, final year of high school coming up.”
Jones’ mother expects the guard to sign in November, with a “thorough” visit to U of L making the difference.
“They knew what my expectations were, and my expectation is for Jazmine to get an education — to go in and get a degree and do well in what she wants,” Felicia Jones said.
Jazmine Jones plans to major in criminal justice and dreams of working for the FBI.
Whittling down a final list of schools wasn’t easy for a player with so many options.
“She told me yesterday, ‘Mom, I’m so happy,'” Felicia Jones said. “‘I feel like a real weight has been lifted, and now I can enjoy my senior year.'”