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Boys' Basketball: Woodbury's Jones makes quick commitment to Davidson

Woodbury’s Michael Jones backs down a Park defender during a Suburban East Conference game last February. File photo

Woodbury's Michael Jones only needed one official visit to decide where he will play college basketball after graduating next spring.

After the AAU season wrapped up in July, Jones had planned to take official visits to multiple Division I schools before committing to a program. But on his first trip to Davidson College in North Carolina, Jones made up his mind.

“It’s an interesting process," said Jones, who announced his decision on Twitter Monday, Aug. 7. "After visiting, I just didn't see any reason to wait any longer."

The Woodbury High School boys' basketball player received an offer from Davidson on May 2 this year, and he made an official visit to the North Carolina campus during the first week in August.

The Davidson boys' basketball team has played in the Atlantic 10 Conference since the 2014-15 season. Previously the Wildcats were a member of the Southern Conference.

Known as one of the strongest non-power five basketball conferences in the country, three teams from the Atlantic 10 earned bids to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament last season. Davidson most recently played in the 2015 NCAA tournament.

Jones said the basketball program's history, along with the educational standing of Davidson, factored into his decision.

“The environment, obviously I love the campus, the academic piece as well,” Jones said about the college. “Obviously, the basketball piece with past success and moving to the A-10.”

Woodbury head coach Kent Getzlaff has been at Woodbury long enough to watch Jones' progress as a player since the start of his high school career. Getzlaff said a strong work ethic helped the Woodbury senior put himself in a position to start drawing Division I attention last season.

“He just kept working and kept getting better and kept growing,” Getzlaff said. “I think it was midway through last year when the other coaches and I started saying, ‘He’s better than a bunch of the kids right now who are getting Division I offers.'"

One of the most memorable points in Davidson men’s basketball history came during the 2008 NCAA tournament when future NBA Most Valuable Player Steph Curry helped lead the Wildcats to the Elite Eight.

Jones, who remembers watching the NCAA tournament run, said it did not factor much into his decision. But it has helped put the program on the map for others.

“The 2008 run has probably helped with where their basketball program is at now,” Jones said.

Jones played football at Woodbury last season, but he is not planning to play again this fall. Instead, he intends to use the time to get ready for his senior year of Royals basketball.

“I’m going to get back into the gym and get ready for the high school season,” he said.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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