Louisville wants a shot at a national title, so it would only make sense to add a sharpshooter, right?
The Cardinals will get just that as North Babylon star Brianna Jones last week committed to play basketball at Louisville.
"I'm super excited and I was all smiles when I made the decision," said Jones, a junior. "I looked at the success the program has had in recent years and I wanted to be a part of that."
Brianna's father, Rod Jones, said his daughter also was "blown away" by the campus.
The All-Long Islander was ranked the 14th best prospect in her class, according to ESPN, and had several suitors, including Duke and Penn State. Louisville coach Jeff Walz attended the Suffolk Class AA final in March. North Babylon lost to Sachem East, but Jones already built an impressive portfolio.
The 5-10 shooting guard averaged 17.1 points and 10.3 rebounds, and hit 68 three-pointers last season. Jones' size, ball-handling skills and the smooth jumper translate well to the college game, North Babylon coach Debbie Brajevich said. Those attributes attracted Louisville, which reached the NCAA Elite Eight last month. Two seasons ago, the Cardinals lost in the national championship game to a UConn team led by former North Babylon guard Bria Hartley.
The news "has brought a lot of excitement to the community," Brajevich said. Jones, a self-described "math nerd," said she plans to major in accounting.
"I feel blessed and fortunate because this doesn't happen all the time," Jones said of the Division I commitment. "But I also know that it's something I've worked very hard for."