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St. Anthony's Jayla Jones-Pack commits to Central Florida

St. Anthony's center Jayla Jones-Pack goes up for

St. Anthony's center Jayla Jones-Pack goes up for a layup against St. John the Baptist in a CHSAA girls basketball semifinal playoff game on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Jayla Jones-Pack tweeted a photo of herself seated next to a pile of mail on the floor. There were so many envelopes, it could be confused for a stack of letters that children sent to Santa Claus around Christmas.

But they actually were from colleges that reached out to Jones-Pack, a 6-4 forward on the St. Anthony's girls basketball team.

"She had over 30 offers and she had over 100 schools recruiting her," St. Anthony's coach Kenny Parham said.

Jones-Pack made her decision last week, committing to the University of Central Florida.

"When she went on the official visit, she really connected with the players on the team and the coaching staff," Parham said. "And she absolutely loved the campus."

Jones-Pack, who is from Amityville, averaged 12 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game as a junior last season while helping the Friars reach the state CHSAA Class AA semifinals.

She is a defensive presence who can cover a lot of ground on the court with her length and athletic ability. Active around the rim on the offensive end, she also can stretch defenders to the perimeter, where she has a nice touch.

"Jayla is an aggressive player, a very good rebounder and shot blocker," Parham said. "She has potential to be a very good collegiate basketball player."

Parham said Jones-Pack also considered Seton Hall, Rutgers, North Carolina, Minnesota, West Virginia and Pittsburgh.

Jones-Pack becomes the fifth senior on St. Anthony's roster to commit to a Division I school. She joins Sarah Edmond (Howard), Taylor Goode (Central Connecticut State), Ally Murphy (Sacred Heart) and Etalyia Vogt (Towson).

"With this group, they all like each other, they all root for each other, they all play within a system together," Parham said. "I'm pretty excited to coach them because they want each other to be successful."

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