Sprinter Marion Jones has certainly been on a wild run this decade: winning gold in the Sydney games in 2000, posing in red sequins on the cover of Vogue, then admitting to steroid use and serving a six-month prison term for perjury.
The 34-year-old mother of of three is starting a new chapter in her sports career: Marion Jones is aiming to play some hoops in the WNBA. She told the New York Times that she plans to play basketball in Europe this Winter and hopes to play professionally in the women's wing of the NBA next season.
To learn more about Marion's shot at redemption, continue reading.
Standing 5'10", Jones played point guard for the University of North Carolina, but hasn't played competitively since 1997. The sport has changed a lot in 12 years. Players are bigger, stronger, and faster these days, which is why Marion is working out with the head trainer of the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars to get basketball-ready. She does credit her jail time for her current fitness level.
I love watching women's basketball and loved watching Marion run. I was heartbroken when she came clean about using performance-enhancing drugs, but wish her success in this next sporting phase of her career. She has also been speaking at schools about her Take a Break program, to help children, especially girls, with decision making. In difficult situations, she urges girls to stop, step away, and think before making a decision. She explains,
"Within 20-30 seconds — it wasn’t longer than that — I made the choice that I wasn’t going to tell the truth. It’s that one moment. Many people can’t trace a turning point in their lives to one moment. I can."
Hopefully her decision to return to basketball will pay off. What do you think of her return to professional sports?