by Derek Toney

Stephanie Jones has known for some time the allure of playing for the University of Maryland’s women’s basketball team would be hard to resist.

Her older sister, Bri, was a major contributor last season for the Terps, who reached the Final Four. Maryland coach Brenda Frese first saw the younger Jones play as a fifth-grader.

One of the nation’s top juniors, Stephanie Jones gave a verbal commitment to the Terps late last week. Jones selected Maryland over Duke, Louisville and Notre Dame.

“The thought of going to Maryland has been with me for some time, but I wanted to make sure, taking value in the other programs that showed interest in me,” Stephanie Jones said to “I didn’t want to verbal too early, either, but I am delighted that I am going to be a Terp. The coaching staff is great as well as the school, so I have a comfort level there.”

A versatile 6-foot-2 guard/forward, Stephanie Jones, ranked No. 18 in the country in ESPNW’s HoopGurlz Super 60 Class of 2016 rankings, averaged 20.1 points and 11.2 rebounds last season for the Eagles, who lost to eventual state Class 3A champ Milford Mill Academy in the North Region finals. As a freshman, Jones averaged a team-high 17.3 points and 9.2 rebounds as the Harford County school won a second straight 3A state crown.

Bri Jones was the driving force to Aberdeen’s first crown in 2012, claiming VSN’s Player of the Year honors. The following season, she played a handful of games alongside her sister before an ACL injury ended her senior campaign.

As a freshman last season at Maryland, Bri, a 6-3 center, played in all 35 games (started 14), averaging 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds.