April 17, 2007
Columbia, S.C. – One of the top 50 high school players in the nation is set to join the South Carolina women’s basketball program, as Gamecock Head Coach Susan Walvius announced today the signing of 5-foot-9 shooting guard Jordan Jones to a National Letter of Intent. Tabbed as the No. 50 overall prospect in the country by HoopGurlz.com, the Suwanee, Ga., native originally signed with Texas Tech during the early signing period but asked for and was granted her release after she decided to attend a school closer to home due to family circumstances.
A first-team all-state honoree by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jones averaged 14 points per game playing for the No. 1 high school team in the country this past season at Collins Hill HS, helping lead the team to the top spot in USA Today’s final national rankings. During her time at Collins Hill, the Lady Eagles won a pair of Class 5A state championships. Jones, who drained seven three-pointers in the state semifinal game her senior year, created a presence on the perimeter that set the stage for teammate Maya Moore to dominate the stat sheet en route to earning National Player of the Year honors. Jones’ statistical numbers were stunted by the fact that she only played in half of most of Collins Hill’s games due to the fact that the Lady Eagles won most of their games by 40 points or more.
“It’s very exciting to have someone as talented as Jordan out there for us,” Walvius said. “Our inside game is solid and I really like our interior play, but the thing we really need on this team is consistent perimeter shooting and that is where Jordan will make her biggest impact.”
Jones set the Collins Hill HS record for most three-pointers made in a single season during her junior year, then broke her own record during her senior campaign en route to earning first-team all-state accolades by the Georgia Sportswriters Association. A top-50 finalist for the McDonald’s All-America Team following her senior year, Jones was a two-time honorable mention selection to the Street and Smith’s All-America team and was nominated for the WBCA All-America team as a senior. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recognized her as one of the top five players in the state of Georgia after her senior year. Carrying a nearly-perfect grade point average, Jones was also named to her school’s all-academic squad.
“Coming to South Carolina just feels right,” Jones said. “I came on a short visit and got to hang out with the coaching staff for a little bit and that’s what did it. I could relate to them. My position coach would be Coach Marciniak and she was a national champion as a player and wants to be successful here. I am excited to learn from her.”
She started her prep career at McEachern HS in Powder Springs, Ga., where she was on the varsity squad as both a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Collins Hill.
Jones is one of three first-team all-state selections set to enroll at Carolina this fall, joining Ashlie Billingslea (5-foot-6 point guard from Stephenson HS in Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Jasmine Payne (6-foot-1 forward from Stringer HS in Bay Springs, Miss.) She was an AAU teammate of Billingslea and fellow Gamecock signee Courtney Newton, who averaged 24 points per game en route to earning a spot on the Georgia All-Star Team as a senior at Flowery Branch HS in Flowery Branch, Ga.
“It’s exciting to be a part of this incoming group because those are some great players,” Jones said. “We played Ashlie’s team in the final four this year and I know how good Courtney is from AAU.”
The guard-heavy incoming class addresses an immediate need for the Gamecocks next season, as the backcourt quartet of Lauren Simms, Stacy Booker, Shannel Harris and Lea Fabbri all finished their respective playing careers in 2006-07.