Jones looks forward to remaining time at high school


Jones boxes out defender to get the rebound. (Photo Hannah Schoup)

Senior Zoie Jones learned to persevere through an injury with the help of her friends, family, and most importantly through her relationship with God. She found music to act as her escape from the stress when she isn’t in the gym or school. Jones started playing basketball in second grade in Powell, Wyo. and continued playing when she moved to Sheridan, Wyo. shortly after. When Jones was in sixth grade, the passion she had for basketball advanced when she began playing on a traveling team, and she has loved the sport ever since.

Being in sports has allowed Jones and her parents to have a relationship like no other because they have always pushed her to be the best person and athlete possible. Both parents invested time and money into camps and programs that allowed her to become the athlete and person she is today. “Without them, I would not be where I am at right now,” said Jones. Her parents have always had very high expectations for her to do her best on and off the court.

Basketball has allowed Jones to take her mental strength to the next level by putting herself in uncomfortable position and she chooses to surround herself with people that do the same thing. These people, including her best friend, Jacy Peyrot, help her face challenges both on and off the court by being a continual support system during the toughest moments. “Continually being put in that uncomfortable spot forces me to become stronger,” said Jones. Basketball has also helped to strengthen her character to make certain decisions that can be hard like making the risky pass during games or executing the correct play that was assigned.

Injuries take a toll on every athlete, mentally and physically. Jones persevered through her hardships after hip surgery in April 2017 by always seeing the best in even the worst situations and looking forward to being able to recover. Jones’s injury greatly affected all aspects of her athletic career during her junior year because she was not able to play basketball or soccer. “God has helped me to accept my role no matter if I enjoy or want that role,” said Jones. After recovering over the past year, Jones has finally been able to get back into the sports that she loves with a more positive attitude about the privilege that she has to participate.

Jones respects new head coach Larry Ligocki due to his drive for the game as if he is the one playing. He encourages the girls to always enjoy the experience because it is easy for them to lose sight of that during the games. “We have invested in our motto ‘Selfless’ a lot this year because it is really easy to say that ‘I want to be selfless,’ but we have been confronted with a lot of opportunities to live out that motto,” said Jones. Ligocki holds his team to a very high standard, and this has allowed Jones to notice a maturity growth in herself and her teammates this season. They have recognized the growth that is necessary to win games and make themselves successful.

God plays a big role in Jones’s life through athletics and everyday activities. Jones and her team pray before every game, which creates a tighter bond between the girls and reminds them of who they are all playing for. After high school, Jones will have to find her identity outside of athletics and praying allows her to remember what is really important in her life, and it is not just about basketball. Jones has created a strong relationship with God that has given her the ability to recognize the most important parts of her life, especially through athletics, like making the best experience out of even the most uncomfortable positions. “It gives me a purpose, motivation, and it helps me compete with the love for the people around me that I would never have without God,” said Jones. “It really helps me to focus on why I’m there. It helps me to think about things beside myself.” Praying is a reminder of what she should have at the front of her mind during games instead of getting too caught up in the competition.

Playing basketball after high school is not on Jones’s radar. After going to Sheridan College, Jones aspires to become a physical or occupational therapist. Until then, Jones works for the City of Sheridan during the summers watering flowers along Main Street and nannying around town. Becoming a therapist interests Jones because she loves to help people and she is extremely interested in the body and its mechanics. Going through physical therapy during her own injury helped give Jones a good idea of what that occupation entails. When Jones is not on the court or in the classroom, music sparks her interest. Jones plays the guitar and the ukulele and both instruments act as a stress reliever when she is not playing sports.

Jones is the daughter of Jeff and Jennifer Jones.