Article and Photography by Alice Mary Herden
Hernando High held their 2018 Sports Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction on Thursday, October 4 in the Leopards gym and for one special 1973 graduate it was a long time coming.
“Let me introduce to you a great man, a great coach, a Hall of Famer in many places- Marion Jones,” Edd Poore said.
Poore was Jones’ former high school coach and felt honored to be selected to introduce him at the 2018 Hernando High Sports Hall of Fame banquet.
Marion Jones holds three records in basketball at Hernando High: most blocks in a season (36), most rebounds in a season (380) and most rebounds for a single game (36).
“It’s awesome,” Jones said. “When I started playing I never thought that it would come to this and that I would be honored.”
Starting on the court at Hernando High 45 years ago- when the basketball gym was actually the cafeteria, Jones quickly made his athleticism known. He continued his sportsmanship and dedication at St. Leo University after graduating from Hernando High.
Still today Jones is a familiar face on the court. Not only does he coach basketball but also has dedicated thirty years to FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) officiating.
Stepping back on the court Thursday night and in the company of his former teammates, memories of great plays and locker room celebrations came into focus.
“For me to get what I am getting (inducted into the Hall of Fame), those guys helped me get there. I didn’t do it all by myself,” Jones said.
Jones held a captive audience during his speech at the podium and continues to show his love for the game on and off the court.