Former Rattler Jones reflects after hearing name called in first round of WNBA Draft

Louisville guard Jazmine Jones (23) drives toward the basket around Virginia Tech guard Taja...
Louisville guard Jazmine Jones (23) drives toward the basket around Virginia Tech guard Taja Cole (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia Tech, Sunday, March 1, 2020, at the KFC YUM Center in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)(WCTV)
Published: May. 19, 2020 at 5:00 PM EDT
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By: Joey Lamar | WCTV Eyewitness Sports

May 19, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tallahassee native Jazmine Jones has proven she is an elite basketball talent; not just in college, but in the nation.

Last month, Jones was selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft.

"With the 12th pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft," WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said on the evening of April 17, "The New York Liberty select Jazmine Jones."

With those words, Jones realized one of her life-long dreams of becoming a professional basketball player.

"I knew I was a first round type of player," Jones said. "But looking at the all the mock drafts before the draft, nobody had me in the first or second round."

Jones is headed to the city that never sleeps, New York City.

To give a comparison, Tallahassee has just under 200,000 people. The Big Apple has just under 8.4 million.

"I have a big personality," Jones said. "So I feel like it will go well. Never been to New York before, so I'm definitely looking forward to it. Definitely, going to do a lot of exploring when I get there."

Jones' new team, the New York Liberty, finished 10-24 last season, missing the playoffs and finishing 11th out 12 teams.

Jones knows she will have to make an adjustment to compete at the highest level.

"The game is much faster," Jones said. "Everybody is great on this level. Everybody is stronger, quicker, faster. Just adjusting to the game just like I had to do going into college."

Jones has not seen her teammates in person yet, but recently the Liberty did get together for video call.

"Just getting to know each other," Jones said. "Just figuring out what everybody is doing during this whole pandemic. It was real good. It didn't last long. Just maybe 45 minutes at tops."

Jones said she has not received any timeline on when she might be able to report to the Liberty.

New York had three picks in the first round of the WNBA Draft,. Sabrina Ionescu, from Oregon, was selected with the first overall pick and Megan Walker, from UConn, was selected ninth overall.

The Liberty made six draft picks over the three-round draft.

Jones set a games played record at Louisville, suiting up for 144 contests. She averaged 7.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 2019/20.

Her stellar FHSAA career included averaging 22.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.1 steals as a senior and finished her FAMU DRS career with over 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Florida State forward Kiah Gillespie

by the Chicago Sky in the third round.