Lady Warrior selects Mt. Olive

Published 8:15 pm Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nansemond River senior Andrea Jones signed a letter of intent on Tuesday, accepting a part-basketball, part-academic scholarship from Mount Olive College in Mount Olive, N.C.

Jones, who’s been the starting shooting guard and a primary scoring threat for the Nansemond River girls basketball team for the last four varsity seasons, had recruiting interest from a number of NCAA Division I programs around the region, but decided on the Div. II school for both academic and athletic reasons.

“It really didn’t matter if it was a division one, two or three school,” said Jones. “I like basketball and it’s a sport I like to play, but academics is more important. As far as basketball, it didn’t matter as long as I got the chance to play while getting a good education.”

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Jones listed Hampton, Winston-Salem State, Winthrop, Mount Saint Mary’s, George Mason, Hofstra, William and Mary and Christopher Newport as among the schools which showed interest in her during the recruiting process.

Andrea’s older brother, Andre, a 2008 Nansemond River alum and basketball standout, is a rising sophomore at Winthrop and played a key role on the Eagles’ basketball squad as a true freshman.

Mount Olive is the best all-around fit said Jones, who was a first-team All-Southeastern District selection this past season.

“I’m very excited about going there. I feel comfortable about everything there, on and off the court,” said Jones.

On her official visit to the campus, Jones said she practiced with the team and toured the campus.

“I plan on majoring in accounting and Mt. Olive has a very good academic program for that,” she said.

On the court, Jones is confident she’s found a good fit for her game, which on the offensive end, is mainly being an excellent long-range shooter.

“Coach (Wendy) Lee feels I’m a good fit,” said Jones. Jones said Mt. Olive, which had a 23-7 season in 2008-09, lost its starting shooting guard to graduation, and she hopes to fill in some of that role right away.

Wendy Lee is Mt. Olive’s head coach. The Trojans finished 17-5 and second in Conference Carolinas, both for the regular season and in the conference tournament, last season.

“The team was very welcoming,” said Jones, “they all seem to be a good group of girls to connect with.”

Andrea’s father, Andre Jones, Sr., said Division I schools were more likely to try to turn Jones into a point guard.

“At a Division I school, maybe Andrea would’ve had to sit awhile, especially if she was playing point guard. This decision is the right one for her. It gives her a greater opportunity to play right away,” said Jones, Sr.

“We want to thank the Nansemond River coaches for helping Andrea, and we thank Nansemond River High School for everything its done for her the last four years,” said Jones, Sr.