Freshman's Famous Family Ties
Former Missouri head basketball coach Norm Stewart describes one of his former players, Ron Jones.
"Hard-nosed, big and strong, was only six three or four, but could play down low," he explained.
But these days that description fits a different Missouri #44.
Missouri's Shakara "Shak" Jones is the gem of the Tiger freshman class.
"When you're coming to us and Tennessee you know you're recruiting the right type of person and player," said Missouri Women's basketball head coach Cindy Stein.
Shak is the right type of player with the right kind of genes. Her father played for the Tigers from 1980 to 1984.
"She's heard the Norm Stewart stories ever since she was a little girl," said her father, Ron Jones.
And when it came time for Shakara to pick a school, the old coach stepped up with an assist for the Tiger program.
"We told her, there's no reason to really look any place else, and she didn't. And she came to the University and I think people are really going to enjoy watching her play," Coach Stewart explained.
"Norm walked in and I was kind of shocked, but I could kind of tell what it was about and he just told me straight up, 'You could go to Tennessee and sit on the bench for four years, or you could come here and make a name and make this school have a name.' So I was like, 'Ya know, it's worth a shot,'" Shakara, the Missouri freshman forward said.
This was a decision that pleased Papa Jones.
"Very excited, I tell you. When she chose to come here, I jumped about five feet in the air," her father said.
Family ties aside, Shakara Jones is more than just a legacy at Missouri.
"Shakara can do a lot. The great thing about Shakara is her versatility, she can play inside or out," Coach Stein said. "We can move her anywhere, she works her tail off."
She is a hard worker just like her father, or maybe even better.
"I think they say I can shoot free throws better than he can," Shakara said.
Is she going to be better than Papa Jones?
"Oh I hope so, that's one of my goals, to be better than Ron Jones," she said.
The Tigers begin their season Friday night when they play Murray State at Mizzou Arena.