Junior guard Alexis Jones’ presence on the Baylor court has made more of an impact than one ever thought possible.
Her journey to represent the Lady Bears’ basketball team was an unlikely one.
Jones started her career at Duke University, playing one season before picking up a knee injury that halted her dream.
It was unclear if Jones would ever return to her old form. Jones eventually transferred to Baylor to be closer to family. Jones had to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer rules.
It did not take long for Jones to feel at home with the Lady Bears and produce on the court.
Jones grew up in the Dallas area playing basketball through high school. It was in those high school year Jones started getting attention from top college basketball programs, such as Duke University.
Duke was Jones’ dream school growing up, but her career would start to shake up when Jones went out in her second season at Duke with a torn ACL injury to her left knee.
The injury gave Jones a new drive, but it was a drive that she wanted to continue with closer to home.
“Because I’m back home, my family and friends can come to games.” Jones said. “One of the biggest things I had in mind was, ‘My dad needs to watch me play.’ He can do that at Baylor and also get to those good away games that he wanted to come to,” Jones said.
Sitting out her first season at Baylor as a transfer while she recovered from the sidelines, Jones was unsure of where she would fit in when she hit the court, but quickly found her place.
“For me, it helped with just understanding the flow of the game better,” Jones said. “When to speed up and when to slow down. But it helped a lot for my knees, too, to recover.”
“I’m still trying to get back to feeling like myself on the court. I’m trying to cut out some of the mistakes I’m making from not being out there last season.”
With healed up knees it did not take long for Jones to find her way. Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey saw a glimpse of the real form of Jones when she led her team with 23 points in route to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
“Alexis is just finally getting back to where she was before her knees was injured…realistically it takes time,” said head coach Kim Mulkey. “What a great time it is for her to start playing the way she is now, she just makes us a better basketball team.”
Jones has doee more than one could have imagined after she was sidelined for a season, and as next season rolls around the possibilities are endless for Jones as she continues to improve on the court. Playing in all 38 games this scoring and scoring in 34 of them, Jones led the team with 70 made threes, with a .412 percentage from behind the arc. While averaging 4.2 rebounds per game, Jones sat behind Niya Johnson in assists at 168 on the season. Adding on to her impressive season stats, Jones was second in both free throws made at a total of 94 and in scoring, averaging 15.0 points per game.
Jones’ drive and determination on and off the court to be the best sum up the reasons why she deserves to be Baylor female athlete of the year.