Lady Bisons Shay Jones once again became the “new girl” when she transferred to Lipscomb University from Daytona State Junior College at the beginning of her sophomore year, but now, she said, she is at home.
Jones began her college basketball career playing at that two-year junior college in Florida near her hometown of Rockledge.
During a tournament game in Daytona, Jones was approached by one of the Lipscomb assistant coaches, and they talked to her about the school and invited her to visit.
“When I came on a visit, I knew this was the place for me,” Jones said.
Jones’s father is a pastor, so she was raised in a Christian home, and when she stepped on Lipscomb’s campus she “knew right away” that Lipscomb was the school she wanted to attend.
Jones said that the transition from Daytona State to Lipscomb was tough because Lipscomb is a much bigger school. When she arrived, she, once again, had to adjust to being the “new girl,” as she called herself. What she referred to as “the welcoming atmosphere” allowed her to settle in here.
Jones said she has grown both as a person and as a basketball player. She has seen and experienced the difference between an NCAA Division 1 university basketball program and junior college basketball program.
“When you play in junior college, you are playing to get to the next level,” Jones said. “Now that I’m at that next level, it is more structured. You’ve got to buckle down and follow those rules.”
Jones said she is excited for her final season to begin, and she is encouraged by the positive mindset and new energy that the two new assistant coaches have brought to the team this year.
Jones is one of eight seniors on a team of 16 girls. She said that there are definite advantages to having a team consisting of an upperclassmen majority.
“Chemistry,” Jones said. “We are familiar with each other, and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Graduation is Jones’ upcoming goal, and she plans to stay in Nashville after graduation to use her degree in fashion merchandising to become a designer. Also, though, Jones said she wants to have a lasting impact on her team.
“The impression I want to leave on Lipscomb basketball is that I left everything out on the floor every time,” Jones said.
“I’ve always been like that with basketball because basketball has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.”
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics