The last few weeks of high school have been busier than usual for Young’s Skylar Jones.
The Public League’s top-ranked senior — she’s No. 96 in the HoopGurlz national rankings — previously had committed to Missouri but opted to reopen her recruiting.
‘‘It was a really long decision for me,’’ Jones said. ‘‘I really loved the staff, the players, everything. I just felt I needed to reopen my recruiting for the best of me. I don’t want to sit here and bash them.’’
When the word got out, the first school to reach out to Jones was Arizona. There were others, but this recruiting cycle was different.
‘‘It’s not like the first time,’’ Jones said. ‘‘I didn’t have all this time [to decide].’’
Also, the 6-foot wing player had used all of her allotted official visits, so her family had to pay for her trip to Arizona.
When Jones got to Tucson, she loved what she saw and saw no need to go anywhere else. On May 15, she committed to the Wildcats.
‘‘Arizona has not just a want for me but a need for me,’’ she said. ‘‘They have a lot of posts and guards [but not wings]. That’s a really good opportunity for me.’’
Arizona is a program on the rise under coach Adia Barnes.
‘‘I really bonded with the coach on the spot,’’ Jones said.
The Wildcats were ranked in the Top 25 all last season and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They also led the Pac-12 and ranked ninth nationally in attendance at 7,679 per game.
‘‘I wanted to step out of the box and be a little different,’’ Jones said. ‘‘Not a lot of kids [from Illinois] are going that far. [And] the weather is going to be great.’’
She’ll be enjoying it soon. Jones graduates Wednesday and will leave for Arizona the next day.
‘‘I just wanted to get after it and get to work,’’ she said. ‘‘I’m excited for the next chapter in my life.’’
The last one was pretty good. Jones played a starring role as the Dolphins won the last two Public League titles and earned Class 4A regional championships.
Jones said she expects Young to keep rolling next season, with standout sophomores Destiny Jackson and Kiaya Johnson leading the way.
‘‘I am so excited to see what they can do,’’ Jones said.
Naperville’s Jones makes U16 national team
Naperville Central freshman Trinity Jones has been named to the USA Basketball Women’s Under-16 National Team.
The team will compete in the 2023 FIBA Women’s U16 Americas Championship later this month in Mexico.
Jones was the DuPage Valley Conference Player of the Year and was the only freshman named to the Illinois Coaches Association’s Class 4A All-State team.
The 6-0 guard is also the only Illinois player on HoopGurlz’ 25-member national watch list for the class of 2026