This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.Article Published January 10, 2019
Heather Jones has been a rock for the Valley Regional girls’ basketball team this season. Whether she’s battling for a rebound in the paint or spotting up for a 3-pointer, Heather finds a way to deliver for the Warriors on the court. Now in the midst of her final year, the senior captain is enjoying every minute that she gets to spend with her teammates and coaches.
Heather feels proud to have contributed to the Warriors’ steady progression these past few seasons. Valley has become a postseason regular during her tenure, and Heather takes great pride in that accomplishment.
“Ever since I started playing at Valley as a freshman, we’ve really improved as a program,” Heather says. “We’ve made it into states three years in a row. The teams before us haven’t been able to do that. We made it to [the Shoreline Conference Tournament] in my sophomore year, and I was pretty proud of that.”
Heather’s skills suit her well at the shooting guard position, although her ability to box out and collect rebounds typically pits her against post players. Heather thinks of herself as a wing, yet she’s always ready to help out the Warriors wherever they need her.
“I would say I’m more of a shooting guard, but I can play the post, as well. I’m one of the shorter players on the team, but I’m aggressive. I get rebounds, because I’m always going for them,” says Heather, a Chester resident. “As a guard, I’m more of a 3-point shooter, and I stay on the outside. Normally, on defense, I get in the paint and look to get the rebound. And on offense, I will spot up on the outside.”
Heather notes that the Warriors’ offensive flow is giving she and her teammates more open shots this season. With a sharp 3-point shot, Heather is benefiting from the good looks that her team creates.
“Our offense has everyone outside on the perimeter,” Heather says. “I get on the 3-point line and, if someone sets a screen, I can roll off of it and go to other side and get open for a shot. It’s been working really well.”
Heather was named a senior captain for the Warriors this year, and she says it’s been a great experience. Heather has wanted to take on a leadership position ever since she started playing basketball. Now, she gets to help her teammates improve every day while serving as a captain.
“I’m dedicated to the team. I try to help motivate the girls. During practice, I’m vocal and try to keep everybody upbeat and involved,” says Heather. “It can be hard constantly going to practice. People get tired and need a little motivation. Getting the energy up in the flow of things is helpful in that sense.”
Head Coach Geoff Konstan has seen Heather grow as a basketball player throughout the last several years. Konstan believes that Heather’s relentless effort has helped her get better with each passing season. He adds that Heather always keeps her teammates smiling while they’re working hard.
“Heather has been a true joy to coach, going all the way back to 6th-grade travel basketball. She gives 100-percent effort every single day in practice, and that effort and her toughness have really defined her as a player. She’s one of the nicest kids you’ll ever meet off the court, but plays like a gladiator on the court,” Konstan says. “Over the last couple seasons, Heather has added the 3-point shot as a big part of her game. She’s hit some big shots for the team over the years. She’s also incredibly funny, and I’ll miss her sense of humor next year.”
Heather hopes to lead a team as a coach one day. On occasion, she lends a hand to her father Bob, who coaches youth basketball. Heather loves helping kids learn about the sport.
“I want to stay involved in basketball. In the future, I want to try to coach as I get older. I help my dad sometimes when he coaches the travel team,” says Heather. “I try to explain different things to the kids, and I’ve really liked it. Basketball has been such a big part of my life, and I want to keep it going.”