The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

November 15, 2013

Harris, Jones commit to top programs

See videos of the signings

CLINTON — One athlete has nothing more to prove as a River Queen; the other hopes to leave it all on the court as his final basketball season looms.

On Thursday, both players — volleyball star Monique Harris and boys basketball standout Jalen Jones — were honored for their efforts on the Clinton High hardwood. And after signing on the dotted line to the ovation of many in the school auditorium, both are now officially committed NCAA Division I athletes in their respective sports.

"It means a lot. We have a lot of supporters and a lot of the school is behind us and what we've done for four years here," said Jones, who signed a letter of intent for the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

"It made me feel really special to know that people care about me and Jalen together," said Harris who is now officially bound for Iowa State University. "I feel really blessed that they care enough to watch us sign a piece of paper."

Harris' commitment came unconventionally since, as of last week, she is no longer a student at Clinton. Having already fulfilled graduation requirements, Harris will actually begin her freshman semester in January two years younger than most of her classmates at 17.

The River Queens bowed out in the first round of the Class 5A state volleyball tournament following a loss to Cedar Rapids Kennedy on Oct. 31. But had they advanced, Harris said she would have had to jump through a few hoops to stall her early graduation and remain eligible for the team.

After Thursday, though, Harris transformed from Queen to Cyclone. She said she was eager to begin training with her new team in Ames as well as start some ground work for a major in chemistry.

"I finished last week. It's cool that I'm not going to school every day anymore, but I do get bored at my house," Harris said. "We've been doing workouts for the last couple of weeks. For now I'm just getting the paperwork done and keeping in contact with them.

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