Senior leader provides stability for team

While Deidra Jones came to FAMU in a recruiting class of five freshmen, she is the only senior playing on the team this year.  She was red shirted her junior year of basketball due to injury.

Jones broke a bone in her wrist early in the season in a game against Bethune Cookman University.  Surgery was performed and a pin was placed in her wrist.  She describes her junior year on the sideline as hard to handle. 

“I just really wanted to get out there and help my team, but there was nothing I could do,” Jones said.

Former teammate Denise Tate said Jones has always been a hard worker.  When she got hurt, Tate knew it was going to be tough.

“Deidra has always lead by example on our team,” Tate said. “She definitely always pushed [me and] everyone else to go the extra mile. Her injury really took a piece away from our team.”

The 5-foot 10-inch guard grew up in Powder Springs, Ga., and began playing basketball in recreation leagues in the fourth grade.  Jones attended McEachern High School. 

When it was time to think about college, she was inspired to come to FAMU by two Lady Rattlers at the time, Joselyn Jackson and Myiah Hughes.  Jackson graduated from McEachern High School a year before Jones, and told her good things about the university and the basketball program.  The other fellow Georgian, who inspired her decision to attend FAMU, was Hughes.  When the FAMU women’s basketball team had a game in Atlanta, Hughes introduced Jones to the team and the coaching staff.

When coming to FAMU, Jones decided to major in pharmacy.  Jones would soon see how demanding it was. 

Classmate and former teammate Melissa Daniels says balancing both basketball and pharmacy is very challenging but she knows Jones can manage them both.

“Pharmacy is definitely a challenge,” Daniels said.  “I am happy she can handle the demands of pharmacy and still be successful on the court.”

Her success is even more important now with such a young team.

“It is totally different,” Jones said.  “I have to be more of a leader because there are so many young and new players.”

But overall, she likes her team and feels they are very talented.  She really looks forward to the

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference season and making a statement. 

Jones and the Lady Rattlers have already gotten off to a good start.  In this year’s exhibition game against Tuskegee, she scored 14 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished seven assists and swatted five blocks.

The FAMU women’s basketball team was predicted to finish seventh in the MEAC this season.  Jones hopes to prove the statistics wrong and win a MEAC championship.

Outside of basketball, Jones said she doesn’t have a lot of leisure time.  However, when she does find some spare time, she loves to shop. She also loves to cook and bake.