Over 1,100 Baylor fans attended the team’s end of the season Lady Bear Appreciation Banquet, sponsored by the Tip Off Club Thursday night in Waco. School officials addressed the audience and players were honored. Among the accolades announced was the retiring of the jersey of senior Melissa Jones.
“There will never be another Lady Bear player to wear number five,” said Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey. She reiterated positive attributes of Jones heard throughout the Colorado native’s career.
“MJ is one of the toughest, if not the toughest player I’ve ever coached at Baylor,” said Mulkey. “If I could clone a player, I’d clone MJ, she’s not the most talented, but she’s everything you want in a player.”
The jersey of Baylor’s “glue” player for the past four years joins three others: Sophia Young’s No. 33, Sheila Lambert’s No. 31 and Susie Snider Eppers’ No. 23.
Jones will be honored at a game next season. Mulkey announced the addition of a new annual award, the Melissa Jones Hustle and Courage Award. Jones is the first recipient.
Other awards handed out during the evening:
- Academic Award – Lindsay Palmer and Whitney Zachariason
- Most Improved Player – Odyssey Sims
- Coaches Award – Melissa Jones
- Defense Award – Brittney Griner
- Lady Bear Award – Kimetria Hayden and Brooklyn Pope
- Rebounding Award – Destiny Williams
- Most Valuable Player – Brittney Griner