Lady Titans standouts celebrated for move to college stardom

Published 12:44 am Saturday, May 6, 2023

Two senior basketball players who came to Memorial High School from different districts at different times are planning to rejoin on the court this fall after signing letters of intent this week to the same college.

Amonti Edwards and Charnel Jones have committed to Texas College in Tyler.

Coach Kevin Henry has high praise for each senior.

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Jones, he said, joined Memorial two years ago after transferring from Sabine Pass.

“She came in and helped solidify our point guard position. She came in with experience and a high talent level,” he said.

“She was one of our leading scorers for the last two years. She helped us extend defenses by being able to shoot the deep ball, and I’m just glad she’s going to be able to continue playing at Texas College, where I know she’s going to do well.”

Edwards transferred from Port Neches-Groves High School during her sophomore year.

“She was an instant impact, a beast down low in the paint, very active high energy on the glass,” Henry said. “And she has a high motor, where she likes to get up and down the floor. She was a big bonus for us because we had lost some size on the inside. She’s an excellent student in the classroom, and I just know she’s going to continue to excel at Texas College.”

In addition, said assistant coach Stephanie Jones, Charnel Jones was awarded Newcomer of the Year last year and this year earned First Team All-District. Edwards was Second Team All-District last year and gets a double-double in almost every game, coaches say.

With the Memorial High School Gym filled with classmates and family members, the students signed with their parents by their sides.

“I’m ecstatic; I’m happy,” said Edwards’ mom, Debra Hayes. “We’re almost at the end. She’s worked so hard. She started playing basketball at the age of 9. She started with soccer, and might I say she was an excellent soccer player. But basketball stole her heart, and here we are today.”

Her father Leon Hayes also expressed his pride.

“She put in the hard work, and it showed off in the end,” he said.

Jones began playing basketball at the age of 7 at the YMCA of Southeast Texas, where her father, Stephen Jones, was her coach.

“I’m feeling ecstatic,” he said. “I’m glad this time has finally come.”

Her mom Jennifer said Jones comes from a family of scholars and athletes. She’s the fourth of their children who has committed to college and the second attending on a basketball scholarship.

“She kind of does some of everything,” she said. “She does softball; she does volleyball.”

Henry said both seniors were “remarkable” student athletes: “They are a great representation of Port Arthur, Port Arthur Memorial High School and especially the Lady Titans Basketball Team.”