All-American: Weight of honor surprises Stanislaus' Reggie Jones
By Brian VanderBeek.
Sunday, April 1, 2012-Reprinted from The Modesto Bee.
TURLOCK-Reggie Jones received a text last week from Larry Reynolds, congratulating the Cal State Stanislaus senior on being named a Division II basketball All-American.
It wasn't until Tuesday afternoon that the full scope of the honor began to sink-in:
- That Jones wasn't just an All-American, but a first-team selection.
- That Jones was the only player from the California Collegiate Athletic Association so honored this season.
- That he became the first Warrior basketball player - man or woman - named to a first team since the school entered Division II in 1989.
Jones, a 6-foot, 9-inch forward from Paterson, N.J., is thankful for the personal honors, but the end of what he considered a lackluster season for the Warriors prevents him from taking too many bows, however warranted.
"We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we wanted to do much more than we did," Jones said. "We wanted the pressure and we wanted to win the championship - going down there to San Diego and lifting the trophy and raising Stanislaus basketball. Hopefully this season is a stepping stone and they continue with this success."
The Warriors finished 16-11 overall and 12-10 in CCAA play to finish seventh and reach the conference tournament. Both were the best marks since the 2002-03 team went 18-11, 13-9 to finish sixth five years before the CCAA launched its postseason event.
This year's team lost five conference games by four or fewer points, and the season ended with a 69-67 loss at Cal Poly Pomona in the first round of the CCAA Tournament.
"They all came down to a bounce, a turnover, a kick-out, a buzzer-beater or something else that didn't go our way," Jones said. "A couple of them did go our way in a few wins, but what can you do sometimes?"
Chico State, which split its two conference games with the Warriors, went on to win the CCAA crown before losing to eventual national champion Western Washington in the second round of the Division II West Regional.
Chico guard Jay Flores was named the conference's most valuable player, while Jones - who led the CCAA in scoring at 19.1 points and was third in rebounding at 6.9 - had to be content with first-team honors.
"I really did want to be the player of the year in the conference and that still stings because that was one of my goals," Jones said. "I'll take the rest of it. Sometimes when I hear I'm an All-American I still don't believe it."
Jones came to Stanislaus as a transfer from Ohlone College in Fremont, where he was the California Community College co-player of the year. In two years in Turlock, he ascended to ninth on Stanislaus' all-time scoring list with 891 points.
"We were fortunate to have a player of his caliber play here, and his selection as an All-American was a just reward for him and the seasons he had with us and it reflects the kind of player he is," Reynolds said.
"I've never coached a player with his level of team-oriented abilities. In addition to his skills, he's a great teammate and that's what makes him unique. He was so unselfish and so into having the team be successful that I don't know if we'll ever see that particular skill set again."
Jones is hoping to find his way into professional basketball, aiming to be invited to an NBA camp or to play somewhere in the international game.
His college credentials should allow for a foot in the door at the professional level, which leaves only one final All-American sink-in moment remaining - one that will be at the discretion of the incoming athletic director: That Jones may be the first Stanislaus men's basketball player to have his number retired.
"That would a be a great moment," Jones said. "We always joke around about having a jersey in the rafter and I guess it could happen here.
"But honestly, some of these things are still surreal to me right now."
This web page is part of the official Ohlone College website. Any Ohlone College Athletics-related information that may appear on other websites is not official and may not be accurate.