Old Dominion got both a visit and a verbal from Manaya Jones, who decided Saturday afternoon to play her college career as a Lady Monarch. The 6-3 post from Raleigh-Egypt High in Memphis will join the program in 2016-17.
"I love the coach," she said. "I love the staff and Coach (Jermaine) Woods. I trust Coach Woods."
Barefoot, Woods -- the former Virginia Tech assistant returned home to Norfolk to join the staff earlier this month -- and company landed a Top 100 ESPN recruit, ranked 16th in her position and likely climbing. She missed much of her junior year due to a patella injury to her left knee (she still finished Class AA All-State) but is back playing AAU again with Team Memphis Elite. Scouts have rated her a high for D-I potential, noting her drop-step move, ability to face up in the key, ballhandling ability and prowess for the boards.
An assistant to Raleigh-Egypt head coach Anthony Jones, Manaya's dad, dubbed her "The Big Ticket," a nickname that has stuck. Manaya's brother, Anthony, also a post player, played for Southeast Missouri before transferring to Concordia College in Alabama.
The "Criminal Minds" buff will major in forensics at ODU.