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For Jones sisters, 2016-17 is a little extra special

By: Mitch Lord

brionna-and-stephanie

Having the opportunity to share a floor on the same college team is not something many sisters get to do, especially not a program with as high of standards as Maryland. But the Jones family from Aberdeen, Maryland certainly has made some high-quality athletes. Not only do they have Jarred Jones dominating in the paint for the Loyola Greyhounds, but Brionna and Stephanie Jones are now both at University of Maryland.

Brionna, a senior, has been an absolutely force for the Maryland women’s basketball team, garnering All-Big Ten honors the past two yeas along with a 2016 All-American honorable mention. Now, her sister Stephanie is also a Terp. That makes this year a little extra special for the two, who haven’t been able to play on the same team since before the younger sister was even a teenager.

“A lot of siblings don’t get to play together, especially at this level,” Brionna Jones said. “I’m just really excited to see how she grows, see how she looks on the court.”

Stephanie joined Maryland as part of the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class. She was the No. 51 overall recruit according to ESPN.com after helping Aberdeen High School to two start championships in four years. In high school, she averaged 28.4 points, 12 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 3.7 steals and two blocks per game. She caught the attention of many elite programs – like Notre Dame, Duke and Louisville.

Some younger siblings like to blaze their own path and steer clear from following in their older sister’s footsteps, but Stephanie decided to join her sister at Maryland. It just wasn’t only her big sister was there, though.

“Bri being here, I really didn’t want to add that as a factor when thinking about where I was going,” Stephanie said. “Maryland, their coaching staff and everybody here showed a lot of interest and were very persistent, and I really liked the attitude here. Bri being here was just an added perk.”

Brionna said she didn’t want to pressure her sister in picking Maryland because if Stephanie didn’t like College Park she didn’t want to be blamed for pushing her in a certain direction. And while Stephanie said Brionna being at Maryland wasn’t a deciding factor, it has helped her be so much more comfortable with the team already.

“I’ve been here basically since [the seniors] have been here,” Stephanie said. “I’ve seen them grow, so there was a little chemistry, but now being here I’m able to get an even stronger bond with them because I’m around the more.”

While Brionna has continued to dominated for Maryland and through four games leads Maryland with seven rebounds per game and is third with 13.8 points per game, Stephanie has only seen limited minutes, just 8.8 per game. Stephanie is still recovering from a torn ACL that forced a premature end to her senior year in high school. She’s not completely back yet, but she’s on the mend and has posted a .647 field goal percentage. That mark is only behind her sister.

And when Stephanie does get back to 100-percent, her sister knows just how dangerous she can be.

“I think [Stephanie] is a very aggressive player. She’s very crafty. She’s always going to find her way to the basket, she’s always going to make the right pass, the right play,” Brionna said. “She’s just a very solid player and I’m looking forward to playing with her.”

And the team is looking forward to seeing how those two can dominate together in the paint.

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