Guard Sydney Jones ’25 led the women’s basketball team (13–7; 2–4 NESCAC) with 16 points and ten rebounds in last Friday’s 60-56 loss to Connecticut College (7–12; 1–5 NESCAC). She was named NESCAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week earlier this year and leads the team in points this season. Jones and the rest of the team are preparing for the final four competitive conference games.
The Polar Bears will go head-to-head with Bates College (9–9; 2–4 NESCAC) tonight and play Tufts University (14–6; 5–1 NESCAC) tomorrow afternoon.
While NESCAC play has been competitive this season, placing Bowdoin at ninth-place in the conference, Jones said that the team is not deterred. She has worked toward her own personal goals to better equip the team for success.
“I’ve focused a lot offensively throughout the past couple of years, and I think that’s where I feel most comfortable. I have really tried to work on my defense and passing … to help the team’s chemistry work as a whole so we’re not playing a very individualistic game,” Jones said. “I think that’s where my focus has really been, to try to get some points on the board for our team but also create more offense and defensive stops for overall success.”
The team’s sense of unity, along with Jones’ connections to athletic trainers and coaches, has been an essential component to her time at Bowdoin both on and off the court.
“There’s nothing I’d rather be doing with my time here. Even though it does get very hectic being on the road and with school and everything, it’s just such an amazing time to be with my best friends,” Jones said. “The athletic department, and everyone that supports us is definitely my favorite part.”
Jones explained that the team dynamic has been responsible for much of the Polar Bears’ success.
“I’m honestly most proud of how our team acts together. I think we have a really good team culture where everyone feels that their voice is heard and that they are an important part of our team.… There’s so many people surrounding us that we have great relationships with [both] on and off the court. I think that’s what also led me to Bowdoin,” Jones said.
Jones’ love and talent for basketball was nurtured from an early age, when she began playing in a rec league in third grade before beginning more competitive play in middle school. Her father is a basketball coach, which Jones said encouraged her athletic growth and interest in the sport.
“I think he did a really good job of balancing our relationship between being a father and being a basketball coach, which I appreciated,” she said. “He knows so much about my game as a basketball player that he’s able to give me really good feedback and has always been a very positive motivator. He allowed me to decide a lot of what I wanted to do with my future when it came to basketball, which I really appreciated and needed as a young kid playing [the sport].”
Jones’ growth as an athlete has continued throughout her college career.
“There are so many different ways to lead and different ways to make an impact in any group. You don’t need to be the loudest person out there. You just need to be doing the right things and doing them well, and if you’re doing your job, you can bring so much to any winning team or any successful group that you’re part of,” Jones said.
As Jones and the rest of the team head into the final stretch of the season, their priority is not only success in the playoffs but to embrace the community they have developed over this past season.
“It’s about a balance. [There is] the necessity of a win to succeed in the playoffs but also to lessen the pressure on us,” Jones said. “I think we’re trying to embrace the pressure but also push a little bit of it off and just play basketball. [We want to] enjoy what we’re doing for the next couple of weeks and hopefully into next month.”