By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter
Sardis High School senior Allie Jones was an eighth-grader when she dedicated herself to becoming a college caliber basketball player.
Jones’ time and effort paid off on April 30 when she signed to play for Snead State Community College in Boaz.
“I always wanted to play college softball, but in eighth grade, I just decided that I loved basketball better,” Jones said. “You hustle up and down the court, and it’s a non-stop game. It was between Gadsden State and Snead, and something inside me told me to pick Snead, so that’s what I did.”
The 5-foot-10 Jones averaged 15 points per game for Sardis during the 2014-15 season.
“She’s 5-10, but she plays like she’s 6-foot tall,” said Sardis girls head basketball coach Josh Wallace.
Jones expects to play either shooting guard or small forward for the Lady Parsons. Her goal is to earn a starting job as a freshman.
Last season was Wallace’s first as Sardis’ head coach, and he moved Jones to point guard. It was the first time she had ever played the position.
“Allie’s more of a 2 or a 3 guard, but with our personnel we had to adapt, and she was the best fit for us at point guard,” Wallace said. “We had a new system, so there was a learning curve of what I expect out of her and how things are going to be done. After about Thanksgiving, it set in with her. It was just a confidence thing, and I knew she could do it.”
Jones liked playing point guard.
“I had the control of the game, but if I messed up, it was on me,” she said. “That was the rough part of it.”
Jones, who joined the Sardis varsity roster in the middle of her freshman season, thanked Wallace for helping with and supporting her career. She said her senior year was “definitely” her favorite.
Jones played AAU basketball for the Gadsden Flash for five years under coach T.J. Butts.
“T.J. had a big impact on my playing career, and my Dad, Brad Lacks, had a big impact,” Jones said. “I learned how to play my good defense from my ninth-grade coach, coach (Lisa) Wells. She taught me everything.
“I love playing defense and I like stealing the ball. When I can see my chance, I like stealing it and going in and shooting a layup. That’s my favorite thing to do.”
One of Jones’ favorite Sardis memories occurred during her junior season.
“Our last game against Crossville was the first time I had ever scored 20 points in a game,” she said.
Jones hopes to continue her basketball career at Jacksonville State after two years at Snead State.