Marion Jones: Redeeming Herself

She was on top of the track world at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, winning three gold medals and two bronze medals.

Now she’s trying to redeem herself in a new arena of sports.

Marion Jones, who was regarded as one of the best track and field stars of her time, has been working on her skills in basketball and is looking to try out for the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars. She is planning this a year after she spent a six-month jail term for lying to a grand jury for her part in the BALCO lab scandal, and also lying about her performance-enhancing drug usage at the 2000 Sydney Games. She was stripped of her five medals (three gold) and her image was tarnished after she vehemently denied using any kind of performance-enhancing drugs.

But now she is looking to make a comeback, just in a different arena. Jones was the point guard on the University of North Carolina’s 1994 National Championship team, and although she has not played basketball on a competitive level in 15 years, she believes she still has what it takes, so SilverStars head coach Dan Hughes is giving her the opportunity to showcase her skills and begin a new career, and is not looking towards her past, but what, if anything, can she bring to the SilverStars’ future

But there are things that stand in the way of that:

The length of time between playing competitive basketball. Jones is 34, and she last played at a high level in 1996, but the good thing is that she is going to try to play in Europe to get in basketball shape again and then join the WNBA in the summer when the season begins. Also, there is the scrutiny of the fans, who will question her every move if she plays, but all she will have to do is look at baseball figures, such as Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, all of which resurrected their careers after performance-enhancing drugs nearly derailed their careers. If a team does sign Jones, it will attract attention and press their way, and boost the bottom line at the ticket office.

So at the end of the day, will this work out? It will depend on if she makes a team in Europe. If she can play among a team there before the WNBA season start, the prospects of a team picking her up will increase greatly. After one of the best WNBA seasons in recent memory, the league and one of its clubs will want to pick her up to keep the good press going.

Either way, Jones will get the redemption that she is seeking.

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