NASHVILLE --- After nearly a year away from the court, transfer Olivia Jones will make her debut as a Tennessee State Lady Tiger on Sunday, Dec. 11 at Lipscomb.
“Olivia is going to make an instant impact with our team,” said head coach Larry Inman. “We’re very excited about her getting the opportunity to play again. She possesses a tremendous skill set and she is a great young lady that believes in team ball. She has a great basketball IQ and that’s something that will help a lot of our young kids. She’s very vocal, she’s a good leader and I think she’ll do a lot of great things for our program.”
Jones transferred to Tennessee State in January 2016 after competing at Middle Tennessee for two-and-a-half seasons. Per NCAA rules, she became eligible to play at TSU following the completion of the Fall semester.
The Murfreesboro, Tenn. native was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year before averaging 19.8 points per game the following season. Additionally, she ranked in the top five in three categories including rebounding, minutes and steals during her sophomore campaign. As a junior, she was voted the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year and reached the 1,000-point milestone while ranking third on the team in scoring.
“It’s a bittersweet moment,” commented Jones. “No senior wants to sit out a half of a year, especially her senior year. Me and my family are happy that the time has come.”
Jones has been an observer from the sideline since last season and sees how she will fit in with the Lady Tiger team.
“I’ll fit in on the rebounding and defensive side,” she added. “I’m obviously an offensive person but I take pride in defense. That’s something that I was born with and I like to rebound.”
Tennessee State will face Lipscomb in non-conference action on Sunday, Dec. 11. Game time is set for 2 p.m. in Allen Arena.