2020’s Aaliyah Jones has the explosiveness of Russell Westbrook | Youth1

2020’s Aaliyah Jones has the explosiveness of Russell Westbrook

Aaliyah Jones is one of the best players from the Tampa, FL area in the Class of 2020.


The 5-foot-7, 152-pound Jones, who attends Superior Collegiate Academy, is a versatile player that plays as a point guard and shooting guard.


No matter the opponent, on each play Jones is determined to give it her all.


Jones is going all out.


The motor is always at full throttle whenever Jones steps between the lines.


“My mindset for my position is mainly to help the point guard handle the court and to also handle the offense and the ball,” Jones said.


Jones has great passion and energy whenever she’s on the hardwood. Jones tells why she enjoys the game of basketball so much.


“What I love most about basketball is how fun it is to play and how competitive it is,” Jones said. “Because I'm very competitive and I love to fight for what I love.”


Jones has learned many valuable lessons from playing basketball that she applies to her everyday life.


The main one is applying perspective to all situations.


“Playing basketball has taught me that being humble and working together will bring you success whether you lose or win,” Jones said. “You went out with a fight and that’s what matters. Also, it taught me that hard work pays off, based off your performance and dedication.’’


Jones describes her favorite basketball moment.  


“So far my favorite memory of playing basketball is when we played a team we lost to our very first game, who we beat with a nice, strong finish,” Jones said.


Allen Bostick is in his first season coaching Jones with Superior Collegiate Academy and also trains her at his company, Dig Deep Basketball.


Bostick explains the best parts of Jones’ game.  


“At shooting guard she’s a very fast and explosive girl. One of the fastest I've seen with my own two eyes. She’s a really good defender and has good jumping ability. She’s a real deal athlete,” Bostick said. “Her feet and hands are very quick and her defensive technique is very good.”


Jones takes her role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Jones makes sure she’s a daily positive influence on her peers.


“I try to be a good teammate by always trying to encourage my teammates to do their best at all times,” Jones said. “I love to make sure everyone's on top of their position and helping them stay out of trouble and being by their side when they are facing an issue.”


Bostick adds that Jones is one of those consummate teammates that every locker room needs to be successful.


“She's a court general and she leads by stepping out front and making everybody follow,” Bostick said. “She is the captain of the team. She makes sure the younger girls are always turned up.”


Jones is appreciative of having amazing role models that are supportive.


“I have learned from my coaches on being a better player that no matter how hard you try, the key is to stay humble and focused,” Jones said. “The best advice my coaches give me is to always put in hard work in whatever you do because you never know who may be watching you.”


Bostick recalls examples of Jones’ capabilities.


“In the Palms tournament she made five steals in a row to get us back into the game,” Bostick said. “That tenacity on defense is what makes her special and is a major boost to the team when we need stops.”


In addition to making clutch plays, Jones also has a high level of basketball IQ as well.


Jones has excellent basketball awareness that puts her in position to thrive.


“In game situations she has excellent basketball IQ,” Bostick said. “On defense she cuts passes off and keeps her opponent locked down. She keeps her opponent in front of her and slides her feet very well.”


Jones is always on the grind to perfect and hone her craft.


“She has a great attitude every day,” Bostick said. “Her work ethic is unbelievable and she also trains with Dig Deep Training. She has a passion for the game so she’s dedicated to making strides.”


Bostick explains why Jones is comparable to last season’s NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.


Bostick believes Jones has the fiery personality and physicality that has made Westbrook fearsome on the floor.


“She reminds me a lot of Russell Westbrook,” Bostick said. “She has that explosiveness to her game and the energy she brings is contagious to the rest of the team. It’s remarkable to witness on the sidelines how she inspires her teammates through her hustle.”


Bostick outlines the next areas of improvement from Jones    


“Controlling her speed and everything so she can take it to the next level,” Bostick said. “If she learns how to slow the game down when she needs to, she’s going to be even more dangerous for the opponent.”


Jones lists her favorite subjects in school as English and has a 3.8 GPA. 


“My favorite subject in school has to be English because I love to write poems/songs,” Jones said. “Writing in general just helps me express my feelings and is something that makes me feel calm.”


Jones is constantly striving for greatness.


“My goals on court is to always put in hard work and to never give up because I know what I'm capable of and if I don't give it my all then what's the point of having a dream?” Jones said. “Off the court my biggest goal is to work hard on ball handling and shooting and to also mentally get stronger.”


Jones dreams of becoming the next great UConn Huskie or UCLA Bruin.


“My dream colleges I would love to play would be UConn or UCLA,” Jones said. “I say this because I love the intensity and confidence the teams have and I enjoy learning new moves and techniques from both of those awesome teams.”


Bostick believes the best is yet to come as long as Jones continues to stay hungry.  


“Her potential is through the roof,” Bostick said “She’s a very quick dribbler. She just has to understand the game a little more. She’s very elusive and physical on defense and always makes you play her game.”



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