You have to go way back, all the way back to her sixth-grade year, when Stephanie Jones first started thinking about the Terps.
Fast-forward five years, and now standing 6-feet-2 and among the nation's Top 20 recruit prospects, Jones remembers those days well when she first observed Brenda Frese and staff at work recruiting her older sister, Bri, now a Terps sophomore frontcourt standout.
"Then I was really exposed to the recruiting process and everything, and they have just always been a good team," Stephanie Jones said. "And since they are local....I just remember going and watching Marissa Coleman play and them putting her jersey up in the rafters. It started then."
Stephanie Jones, who committed to Maryland last month to add to Frese's 2016 recruit riches, said she knew the moment was right to make it official. She had an elite list of finalists, choosing Maryland over Duke, Notre Dame and Louisville. She said the runner-up was Notre Dame.
"I felt I knew enough to make my decision. I knew enough that Maryland was really where I wanted to go and end up playing my next four years," Jones said.
Jones, who averaged some 21 points per game as a sophomore at Aberdeen High School, where she's also a volleyball standout, said the staff showed her the love early.
"The fact the coaches have been interested in me....and I just really like their style of play and everything. And academics are great at Maryland as well," said Jones, who may study engineering or law at college.
She's a different body-type and player than her older sister and insider Bri, younger sister a wing who can knock shots down from the perimeter, as well as slash and finish.
"I think I will be a big guard, a shooter-slash attacker," Stephanie Jones said.
While her older sister is 6-3, and her father and brother (Jared, who plays at nearby Loyola College) are 6-7, Stephanie Jones believes she has stopped growing. She said she is working most now on her outside shot and ball-handling. Her father played basketball at the University of Hartford, while her mother played volleyball at East Texas University.
"Just being more comfortable there," Jones said of her perimeter skills.
Stephanie, who last got to play on teams in elementary and middle school with her older sister, can't wait to overlap for one year with Bri as players at College Park.
"I think it is going to be really interesting. I am really excited to be able to play with her in college. It is going to be completely different from what we have done before," Jones said.
Bri changed her body type nearly overnight after arriving at Maryland and making a splash as an impact freshman last season. Something her younger sister also took note of.
"I think it is amazing how she transformed her body, and improved how she already was as a player, and then to grow on that," Jones said.
Jones is part of the next wave of blue-chip talent arriving at College Park for the next two years, as Frese continues to reel in Top 10 classes. The family makes it down to most home games.
"I am really excited to get to watch them play this season, because I really want to see how they do. And I think they are going to do really well and I think they could make it to the Final Four again this year," Jones said.
Jones said the "family-oriented program" aspect also jumped out about Frese and her program.
"Like they are always there to help you with the process, like transitioning as a freshman. They really stayed with her [Bri] all of last year as a freshman. It's just a family-oriented program," Jones said.
Jones and her family made it down last weekend for the Ohio State-Terps football game as well.
It's A Family Affair for Stephanie Jones
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