Taylor Jones: A leader on and off the court

Devin Boatwright, Staff Intern

The Golden Grizzlies women’s basketball team has some key games coming up with in-state rivals the University of Michigan and Michigan State University this week. Taylor Jones, a senior guard for the women’s team has become a leader and driving force in the success of this very young squad.

Jones, also known as “TJ,” is a Detroit native and enjoys her opportunity to play so close to home.

“It feels good,” Jones said. “I like the fact that my friends and family can come and watch me play.”

As she’s playing in what may be her final year in a Golden Grizzly uniform, she is still optimistic about how she’s grown and the experiences she’s had here.

“It’s crazy, I felt like the time went by really quick,” Jones said. “It seems like just yesterday I was a freshman. However, I still see a lot of growth in myself with all the things I’m learning along the way.”

Last season, Jones was named the Horizon League Sixth Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. From the sixth spot, she scored 11.2 points per game, and hit double figures 21 times. This season, she is averaging a team-high 15.5 points per game and a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game.  

Jones is fierce on the court. She believes that when she plays she should be the x-factor. To lead her team, she should lead in all aspects of the game, emotionally and statistically. Jones believes one of her better traits is how hard she plays, and models her game after that of LeBron James, wanting to lead in every category of the stat sheet.

“I play hard every night,” Jones said. “I try to lead the team in almost every category so I feel like I should be the top rebounder, have the most assists, be the best defender or be the top scorer. LeBron this year with the Lakers has a very young team, so he’s just trying to build the chemistry kind of how we’re doing with our team.”

Outside of basketball, she takes inspiration from her mother and grandmother. In fact, her grandmother was a deciding factor in coming to Oakland University.

“My grandma had cancer my junior year of high school and we were really far, so she couldn’t come to any of my games,” Jones said. “I wanted to make sure she would be able to come see some if I were to stay close to home.”

She also loves her teammates and coaching staff, and playing for the university has brought her many good memories.

You can catch the women’s basketball team on Wednesday, Dec. 5 on the Blacktop playing the Michigan State Spartans, then on Sunday, Dec. 9 for the “Overflow the O” game as the Golden Grizzlies play the Michigan Wolverines in an attempt to break the women’s basketball team record for attendance.