Now That She’s A National Champion And Most Outstanding Player Of The NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, The Podcast Sought Storytellers To Highlight The Rise Of Stanford’s Haley Jones •
As the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship unfolded across two hours of Easter Sunday afternoon, one constant became clear: When the Stanford Cardinal needed a momentum shift, Haley Jones was the catalyst.
The sophomore came up with several clutch baskets, none more important than the and-1 play she converted in the paint with 2:24 left after Arizona had cut a once nine-point lead down to one. Those three points, the bucket and the free throw, would prove to be the winning points after Stanford barely hung on for a 54-53 win and its first title in 29 years.
Jones, who finished the game with 17 points and 8 rebonds, was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. And the Bay Area girls basketball community beamed with pride. That performance, as well as her 24-point night in the semifinal win over South Carolina, looked all too familiar to those of us who watched her polish her game at Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose.
We talked to a pair of her former coaches, a former club teammate who also faced her multiple times during the course of their high school careers, and longtime Bay Area reporter Mitch Stephens. Together they painted a tale of a passionate and smart player — who also enjoys a Capri Sun, a good 90s R&B jam and the occasional ill-conceived dip in a hotel fountain.
Gather around for stories and memories on the Bay Area’s newest national women’s hoops star.
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CBS SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NATIONAL FINAL, INCLUDING JONES’ CRITICAL 3-POINT PLAY