Freshman Charnel Jones excels with IQ beyond her years, coach says

Published 12:20 am Friday, January 24, 2020

Charnel Jones is a freshman playing with two sisters, Nevaeh and Jamesia, on the same Sabine Pass basketball team. Yet she’s one of the team’s consistent leaders in scoring.

She averages 18.7 points a game in District 24-2A games, and she put up 30 against Deweyville on Jan. 14. It seems basketball is in the Jones’ blood, and especially in Charnel’s.

“In my family, every time we have a family reunion or anything, one thing we always have to do is play basketball,” Jones said. “We all can bond playing basketball because we have a really athletic family and basketball is just one of the favorite sports in the family. So basketball is really in our blood. We love basketball. It doesn’t matter what time it is, we could always play basketball.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Sabine Pass girls basketball coach Cody Almond said Charnel’s junior high career was pretty spectacular, too.

“She’s somebody you have to have on the team, somebody you have to have playing for you,” he said.

Along with her sisters, her brother, Jamyus Jones, is a leading scorer for the Lamar State Seahawks.

Their father is always pushing Charnel to do better, she says, telling her things she could improve, even when she has a great game. Her mother, likewise, gives her input and supports her during her time on the court.

Basketball is just a game Charnel simply loves, enough to even consider playing in the WNBA someday.

“I’ve been playing for a really long time,” she said. “I love the context. I love being with the team. Playing with the team is just something that I just always love. You can create a bond with all these people, and it’s not always the same people, because I play AAU and I’ve always been on different teams. I usually play with older people.”

Charnel’s youth comes with some challenges in that others often don’t expect someone as young as her to have her level of talent.

“I go on the court expecting to do big things because I always want to make every game better,” she said. “I want to improve in something on every game.”

Charnel takes time to prepare herself for her games. She takes time alone to calm herself to avoid getting nervous so she can be the most help to her team.

When on the court, though, she starts talking, communicating with teammates, getting them to keep calm and telling them to be confident in what they’re doing. Her team, in turn, cheers her on when she scores, all part of the Sharks’ chemistry.

Charnel says she can get going up and down the court and get past anybody because of her speed and vision.

“I can see the court very well and I know where people are,” she said. “I know where open spots are, so I can tell people where to go and how to create a shot off of wherever they are.”

Almond said Charnel is a great ball handler, shooter and rebounder who easily spots the open pass.

“For a freshman, she’s smarter than she should be,” he said. “I’ll say that. She’s got the IQ of somebody much older.”

As much as she likes basketball, the WNBA may not end up being her ultimate goal.

“I don’t know for sure if that’s what I want to do because I also want to be a veterinarian, but there is a possible way I could do both,” she said. “I would really have to be dedicated in school, which I am. I’m very dedicated in school. I have straight A’s, because school is very important. That’s why I’m a student athlete.”