Tylie Jones likes to be open about her college recruitment process.
“It definitely was a wild ride,” the Rigby senior said.
Things are opening back up, but still, now is hardly an easy time to make a college selection. Coronavirus complications make in-person visits tricky, and Jones had several suitors since the beginning of her senior season.
Even so, a couple weeks after her Rigby team wrapped up its season with a third-place finish at the 5A state tournament, Jones made a five-hour drive to Ephraim, Utah, the home of Snow College, a community college.
She toured the campus, met her potential teammates. They were kind, Jones noticed.
“I could tell that was a fit for me,” Jones said.
With that, Jones made up her mind. She would join Snow’s women’s basketball program. She made that decision official on Tuesday evening, signing a letter of intent.
“It feels really nice,” Jones said. “I’ve been working for this moment since I was a little girl. I always dreamed of playing college basketball. They always say to follow your dreams, and now, it’s coming true.”
If you know anything about Jones, it shouldn’t surprise you that she’s moving on to the next level.
She starred at Rigby because she was so versatile. During her senior campaign, she posted 14.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, which helped the Trojans take home hardware from state for the first time in program history.
She was rewarded accordingly. The Post Register made her the All-Area Player of the Year, as did the 5A/4A High Country Conference.
That, Jones said, is part of what makes this achievement so rewarding.
“It’s a little bit daunting coming out of an Idaho school. You don’t really get a lot of attention,” Jones said. “Rigby, the community and school and all my coaches, teammates, they’ve done so much to support me. To be able to make it this far, it wasn’t all for nothing. It does mean a lot.”
Over the last several years, Snow has eclipsed the 20-win mark three times and reached the Region 18 Championship game twice. This season, the Badgers are 15-6 and preparing for the Region 18 tournament.
Going to that from Idaho high school basketball will represent a change, Jones acknowledged. She has designs on hitting the weight room, on getting into “college shape” — a step up from what she’s used to.
This is all one giant change, though. Jones says she’s prepared for it.
“It’s a little bit scary, I guess,” Jones said. “You’re living on your own for the first time, and you’ve been doing the same thing for the last four years. But I’m excited for the change. Change is good. I feel like my coaches and teammates, my family and community, they’ve prepared me for this next transition. I’m excited.”