Share “NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament:...”

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament: Cowgirls' LaShawn Jones found success through failure

The All-State pick out of Putnam City High School kept working on her basketball skills — and now she has helped OSU to the Sweet 16.
By Cody Stavenhagen, For The Oklahoman Published: March 27, 2014
/articleid/3947709/1/pictures/2387446">Photo - Oklahoma State women's basketball player LaShawn Jones addresses local reporters at a media gathering held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at Gallagher Iba Arena in Stillwater. The Cowgirls will play Notre Dame in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday. Photo by KT King/For the Oklahoman
Oklahoma State women's basketball player LaShawn Jones addresses local reporters at a media gathering held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at Gallagher Iba Arena in Stillwater. The Cowgirls will play Notre Dame in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday. Photo by KT King/For the Oklahoman

It might not be there without Jones.

“Her growth and her development, that’s why we’re in the Sweet 16 right now,” Littell said.

For Jones, it’s been a long journey to this point. At Putnam City, she said few people knew her real name. Everyone called her “Shaq,” but she didn’t consider playing Division I basketball until schools started to call her.

In her first year at OSU, the transition was almost too much to handle.

“I didn’t want to quit, but it was just days where I was like, ‘You just need to relax and calm down,’ ” Jones said. “I was overwhelmed. Everything wasn’t a cakewalk like it was in high school.”

Littell, then an assistant before coach Kurt Budke’s death that November, said it was noticeable.

“If I could look back and do things differently, I think we probably should have redshirted LaShawn the first year and gave her a chance to mature and figure out what it was all about,” Littell said.

But with the help of teammates and the motivation of making her mother, Deanna, proud, Jones pushed through the hard times.

Now, she’s reaping the rewards.

“There’s a lot of kids in today’s game, if they don’t get (playing time), they quit, they move on, they want to transfer,” Littell said. “They want instant gratification. I’m so pleased with what LaShawn has been as a person, as a player, as a student.

“She’s overachieved in every area, and it’s just because she’s worked real hard on everything from the academics to the basketball. That’s awfully rewarding for a coaching staff, when you see a young lady come that far in three years.”

Once a liability, Jones is the Cowgirls’ go-to option in the post.

“It’s unbelievable,” senior point guard Tiffany Bias said. “A whole lot of games, we’ve really rode on her just to get us through.”

Once lost, LaShawn Jones is right at home.

“I think you have to be very tough to sit on the bench and play behind two people and go through practice and work your butt off and get yelled at and then come the next day with a smile on your face,” Bias said. “That’s what LaShawn is.”


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Priceline.com reveals top Labor Day, Fall destinations for 2015
  2. 2
    Rep. Jim Bridenstine recognized for leadership on space issues
  3. 3
    Susan Sarandon calls upcoming Glossip execution 'a horrible thing' on 'Dr. Phil'
  4. 4
    Barricaded man who threatened Claremore police officers sentenced to 20 years in prison
  5. 5
    Cat takes a bullet and saves 3-year-old
+ show more

FEATURED JOBS



× Trending osu Article