Marion Jones To Join The WNBA?
The last we heard from Marion Jones, all that she had worked for was going down in disgrace.
She had to give back every track and field medal and/or prize she had won dating back to September of 2000. She also was headed to jail for a six-month sentence.
She infamously offered a tearful and gut-wrenching apology which was televised by sports and news networks worldwide. Indeed, it seemed the world had all but come crashing down around her. Despite her transgressions, redemption may be just beyond the horizon for Ms. Jones.
It turns out that the speedster, whose penalties and suspensions forced her into retirement back in 2007, has been training for a new sport – basketball. Jones is no stranger to the game, having played basketball quite during her high school days in California and on the 1994 NCAA champion North Carolina Tar Heels. She was even selected during the 3rd round of the 2003 WNBA draft.
Since October, Jones has been training in San Antonio in hopes of joining the WNBA franchise, the San Antonio Silver Stars. She says that she plans to play in Europe this winter and to join the league for next season.
Jones seems to be the eternal optimist as she eyes her new career. During an interview with the New York Times, she had this to say:
“I thought it would be an interesting journey if I decided to do this. It would give me an opportunity to share my message to young people on a bigger platform; it would give me an opportunity to get a second chance.”
She later added,
“It’s important for people to know that it’s possible to make a mistake in your life, but it’s what you do after the mistake that people are going to remember you by. Are you going to make whatever negatives that happened in your life a positive? Are you going to disappear? That has certainly never been in my horizon. How can I use my experience, my story, to help people and in the process hop on this journey of trying to make a team?”
Dan Hughes, coach of the San Antonio Silver Stars, has said that he does not plan to judge Jones on her past but will deal with where she is right now. He has also applauded her for her courage and solidarity.
I certainly think she can redeem herself, just as Michael Vick has, Kobe has, and Tiger Woods… might.
As long as she’s willing to break those old habits and start anew, I think the sky is her limit. Nothing would make me happier than to see her thrive again.
At 5’10 with all of the muscle and speed she has developed, I’d say she’d make one heck of a point guard.
Main Image: Panache Report