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|Jones to attend camps|
Monique Jones of Ferriday did not hear her name come up during the WNBA Draft earlier this month.
But her name will ring out loud and clear on May 3 when the 2008 graduates of the University of South Alabama are announced.
Jones is graduating with a degree in Communications.
"Even is I don't play any more basketball, I've got my degree," Jones said.
Actually, basketball is not entirely out of the question.
Jones will participate in basketball tryout camps in Boston and Orlando with WNBA scouts and scouts from professional teams overseas in attendance.
"Hopefully I can play to the best of my ability and somebody will sign me," Jones said.
Jones had a standout four-year career at Ferriday High School, averaging 23.0 points and 12.1 rebounds. She helped lead the Lady Trojans to a career record of 115-22 and a career district record of 32-2 which included three undefeated seasons. Jones earned McDonald's All-American honorable mention in 2003 and Street and Smith All-American honorable mention in 2002. She was a three-time District 3-2A MVP and Louisiana Class 2A All-State first team three times.
Jones signed with Baylor and saw action in 34 of 35 games her freshman year, missing only the Texas Tech game in Waco.
She tallied a career-high 15 points against Nicholls State and led the team in assists against Penn State with four.
In 2004-05, Jones made her first career start against Indiana and played a season-high 18 minutes. Over her last 17 games, she shot 10-of-25 (.400) from the floor and 2-of-2 (1.000) from three-point range.
Jones did not play in Baylor's NCAA Tournament victories over LSU, North Carolina or Minnesota, but against Oregon, she had a steal in four minutes off the bench. She saw one minute of action versus Michigan State in the NCAA Championship win. She contributed a season-high three assists and two rebounds in 10 minutes of BU's tournament win over Illinois State.
After a violation of team rules, Jones left Baylor and signed with South Alabama. She red-shirted in 2005-06.
In 2006-07, Jones was the only Lady Jag to start all 30 games. In her first season at South Alabama, Jones had an immediate impact on the Jaguar offense, ranking second on the club in points per game with 11.0 per contest. She knocked down a team-best 58 three-pointers, while also averaging 3.0 rebounds per game.. Jones led USA in scoring on nine occasions and was selected to the Long Island Turkey Classic All-Tournament team. She ranked 21st in the Sun Belt in scoring and ranked second in the league in three-pointers per game with 1.93.
In her senior season, the 5-foot-9 Jones started 28 of 31 games as a senior this past season, averaging 10.4 points a game.
The fifth-seeded South Alabama women's basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 53-53 decision to fourth-seeded Arkansas State Saturday afternoon in the Quarterfinal Round of the 2008 Sun Belt Conference Tournament to finish 20-11 on the season. Jones led all scorers in that game with 19 points, tying a season-high with five three-pointers.
"The season didn't end the way I wanted it to end, but we still had a great year with 20 wins," Jones said. "I had a couple of injuries, but still tried to play to the best of my ability. I had some great teammates and awesome coaches. It was an awesome time."
Jones said she would not change a thing if she could, although she would wish for it to go by slower.
"It's over with and now I have to get ready for the real world all by myself," she said. "But it was fun. It was a great experience. I got to go toa lot of places and had a great time, even at Baylor. Not a lot of players experience winning a national championship and then serve as a team captain their season year. I would have loved to have played at a Louisiana school, but I was more than happy with my experience at both schools."
Jones was also named Female Athlete of the Year at South Alabama this past school year.
"There were a lot of positives," she said. "Now I have the combines coming up. And if I don't get anything out of those, I still have a degree to back myself up. I'll be looking for anything if I don't get to play anymore. I've even thought about coaching. I'm looking forward to taking the next step."
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