Aberdeen native and University of Maryland star Brionna Jones will have her U of Md. jersey retired this Sunday.
It was just a little over four years ago that Brionna Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury in her senior year at Aberdeen High School.
On Sunday, Jones, the center for the University of Maryland Terrapins women's basketball team, will have her jersey number, 42, retired and hung in the rafters at Xfinity Center on the College Park campus.
"Mostly pride, you know, knowing everything that Bri's gone through from the time she started playing until now," Mike Jones, Brionna's father, said Wednesday. "It's just a lot of pride, I'm so proud of everything she's been able to accomplish in her basketball career up to this point and that's pretty much the thought process and my mentality right now. It's a lot of emotion and pride."
Jones, who was named Big Ten Player of the Week four times this season, including three times over a four-week stretch in January, has been a steady force in the paint for the Terrapins over her four years.
In this, her senior season, Jones is averaging a double-double of 19.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Her field goal percentage of 68.8 percent is again atop the leaders across the country after leading the nation last season with a 66.5 percent average.
"I am so excited about her finishing up her senior year and her jersey being hung up in the Xfinity Center," Sanciarhea Jones, Brionna's mother, said. "It's exciting, I mean it's been a dream come true for her. She's said that she always picked the right place for her and I think the University of Maryland was the right place for her. I can tell from the way she's played since she's been there, how much she's grown as a person and as a basketball player that it's just been the right place."
There should be no arguing that for a player who has garnered a number of honors.
The list include: Wooden Watch List (2016); Naismith Watch List (2016); WBCA All-American (Honorable Mention - 2016); Associated Press All-American (Honorable Mention - 2016); All-Big Ten First Team (Coaches - 2015, 2016); All-Big Ten Second Team (Media - 2015); Preseason All-Big Ten (2015); ESPNW National Player of the Week (1/16/17); Naismith National Player of the Week (1/16/17); Senior CLASS Award Finalist (2017); and Academic All-Big Ten Team (2015, 2016).
And she graduated last May with a degree in kinesiology in just three years. Jones wants to be a pediatrician.
"Brionna is a very, very determined person," Sanciarhea Jones said. "She does not give up on herself, she believes in herself and just the same as we've always believed in her as a family and we knew that the ACL tear was a just a glitch in the road for a few minutes and that she would, you know, everything would go OK in the end."
That was probably never more evident than in that senior season in 2013. It was early January and the Eagles were focusing on a repeat of the Class 3A state title won in 2012.
Then came the unthinkable - Jones was lost for the season with the ACL tear. Jones though, unable to return to the court, was just as much a leader from the sideline.
"I think she was a great model, even when she was injured, just for being determined, pushing self and just playing hard and playing well on the court at all times," said Amber Milnes, who was in her first year as the AHS head coach in Jones' senior year. "She also was a high standard for academics while she was here which she clearly continued into Maryland and injured or not, I think she was a focal point in us winning that state title without her on the court, but we had her quiet leadership and motivation to the team from the sidelines, which was fabulous."
Sunday's game won't be last in the Maryland uniform for Jones, but it will be a significant moment in her time at Maryland.
"She's had a tremendous career, two Final Fours in three years so far, four years actually, and hopefully they'll get another chance to go the Final Four this year," Mike Jones said. "It's very tough to go to a Final Four and the fact that she's already done two is an amazing accomplishment and with everything else that she's done, scoring over 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, that's just a tremendous career."
Harford County’s “Choose Civility” campaign kicked off with a breakfast event at the Water’s Edge Events Center in Belcamp on Wednesday.