There is a player on the University of Arizona women’s basketball team who is the epitome of “heart.” She plays hard, never gives up and carried her team on Saturday. Her name is Natalie Jones.
It’s no secret that the Wildcats are in the middle of a nightmare. After Polkey’s passing, one thought it wouldn’t get any worse. It has. Arizona is in ninth place in the conference standings and the Cats have lost post-player after post-player as the injuries have piled up. The latest casualty is forward Che Oh, who left Saturday’s game in Pullman, with her second concussion in the last two weeks. In the midst of all of this madness, thank goodness for Natalie Jones!
As her team was losing its second-straight game on the Washington trip, Natalie never gave up. She scored 19 of her team-high 28 points in the second half and scrambled for every loose ball. Remember, Natalie is a senior and her chance at another NCAA Tournament bid or Pac-10 Conference Championship has been lost. But Natalie is a gamer. She comes to play every night. She left 120 percent of herself on the floor in Pullman.
Natalie never complains. She has been saddened by the events that have surrounded the team this season, but her attitude has stayed positive and her work ethic has been steady. Wouldn’t every coach like to have a Natalie Jones on his/her roster? I think so.
The Cats are coming home this weekend to face the high-flying L.A. schools. Arizona may not be able to compete because of its lack of bodies, but keep your eye on number 23. She will be running the floor, grabbing rebounds, pouring in threes and exemplifying everything that is good about collegiate athletics. Watch her and cheer for her. There is a player that has never given up. Her name is Natalie Jones.
See you on the radio!
*Each Arizona women’s basketball game is broadcast live on KJLL AM 1330.
*Join us for the Joan Bonvicini Coaches Show, heard live on KJLL, each Monday from 6-7 p.m.