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Marion Jones

Tar Heels Point Guard

As a 5'11" point guard with the Lady Tar Heels at UNC, Jones developed a natural leadership role and earned the nickname "Flash" for her speed with the ball. The team won North Carolina's first national championship in 1993-94. Winning All-American honors in track the following season, Jones came back in the 1994-95 basketball season to help her team finish 30-5.

In August 1995, however, Jones broke the fifth metatarsal bone in her left foot while practicing basketball at the World University Games. Missing the 1995-96 season, she broke the bone again in December while training on a trampoline. The injury dashed her 1996 Olympic hopes. While recuperating, she began dating shot putter C.J. Hunter. Her family and friends disapproved of the relationship, but Jones and Hunter would marry in 1998.

Chronology

1975 Born October 12 in Los Angeles, California
1976 Parents divorce
1983 Family moves to Palmdale, California; mother marries Ira Toler
1987 Ira Toler dies of a stroke, leaving wife to raise Marion and her brother alone
1988 After watching Seoul Olympics, Marion writes on her blackboard, "I want to be an Olympic champion."
1991 Sets national high school record in the 200-meter dash and receives invitation to appear on Good Morning America; mother moves the family to Thousand Oaks, California, so Marion can play basketball for Thousand Oaks High School; runs the year's fastest high school girls' 100-meter dash, at 11.14 seconds
1992 At state championship meet, Jones records long jump of 23', the second longest ever made by a high school girl; misses qualifying for the 1992 Olympics by only .07 second; declines offer to be an alternate on U.S. Olympic team
1993 Offered scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to play basketball; mother moves to Chapel Hill
1994 Lady Tar Heels win National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship, 60-59; earns All-American honors in four events at NCAA track-and-field championships
1995 Breaks metatarsal bone in left foot while practicing with U.S. basketball team at World University Games in August; misses entire basketball season; in December, breaks same bone again while working out on a trampoline
1996 Becomes engaged to shot putter C. J. Hunter; is unable to recover from foot injury in time for 1996 Olympic Trials; returns to play with Lady Tar Heels for 1996-97 season
1997 In March, announces she will not play with Lady Tar Heels during last year of athletic eligibility but will instead concentrate on track and field; begins training with Trevor Graham, a Jamaican track medalist in 1988 Olympics; graduates from University of North Carolina in May, wins two events at U.S. national championships, defeating Jackie Joyner-Kersee in long jump; signs a contract with Nike soon afterward
1998 Wins three gold medals at U.S.A. Outdoor Track & Field Championships, becoming first woman in fifty years to accomplish that feat; sets personal best time of 10.65 seconds in 100-meter at World Cup, fourth fastest time in history; marries Hunter on October 3
1999 Wins every 100-meter and 200-meter race she enters until world championships in August
2000 Sets much-publicized goal of winning five gold medals in 2000 Olympics at Sydney, Australia; Nike airs series of "Mysterious Mrs. Jones" television ads, in which Marion asks why women professional athletes earn less than men; wins her first Olympic gold medal, in 100-meter dash, with a margin of .37 seconds, second greatest margin in Olympic history; two days later, news breaks that husband C. J. Hunter failed tests for use of a steroid drug—Hunter denies it; Jones wins a total of three gold and two bronze medals at Sydney, the most by any woman in a single Olympiad
2001 Announces that she will file for divorce from Hunter, citing irreconcilable differences; loses the 100-meter for the first time in four years, to Zhanna Pintusevich-Block, of Ukraine, but reclaims her title in September at Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia; films public service announcements at the Olympic Sport and Immunization Festival in Accra, Ghana
2002 Records first undefeated season of her track-and-field career; debuts as CBS network television sports analyst; in December, announces she will leave coach Trevor Graham and work with Canadian Derek Hansensidebar text

Jones returned to play basketball with the Lady Tar Heels in the 1996-97 season. The team finished the season at 29-3.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsTrack and FieldMarion Jones Biography - "i Want To Be An Olympic Champion", High School Star, Tar Heels Point Guard, Chronology - CONTACT INFORMATION