Badgers lose Lesha Jones for season

Incoming freshman still needs to recuperate from knee injury

Lesha Jones, a freshman Wisconsin women's basketball player, will miss the entire season due to a knee injury suffered during her senior basketball season, according to a press release Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot-3 post player from Detroit (Martin Luther King HS) had surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in May, but has not had adequate time to rehabilitate the knee, according to Badger coach Lisa Stone.

"The determination was made late last week, in consultation with our medical staff, that Lesha will need to take this year and rehab the knee," Stone said in a prepared statement. "We look forward to having her back with us full strength next season."

Stone was out of the office Monday on a recruiting trip and was not available for further comment.

Jones was expected to play a key role as a true freshman. The Badgers lost centers Emily Ashbaugh (6-5) and Lello Gebisa (6-7) to graduation and brought in Jones and 6-4 Danielle Ward (Milwaukee King) to help replace their height and production. Gebisa and Ashbaugh combined for 18 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

The Badgers return four forwards and no true centers from last season. Only one returning forward, 6-1 Jordan Wilson, played regularly in the post.

Jones, a left-hander, was considered the top player in Detroit and led King to a Class A state title. She also led the Detroit Motor City Crusaders AAU team to four of their nine consecutive Public School League titles.

She also played in a few tournaments with the Hoops Express AAU team based in Chicago, where fellow incoming freshmen Ward, Janese Banks, Akiya Alexander and Shari' Welton all played.

Jones played in the 2003 USA Women's Youth Development Festival, and was ranked No. 56 by the Blue Star Index and No. 73 by the All-Star Girls Report (ASGR). She was an adidas All-American camp participant two years and a three-time AAU All-American. She averaged 23 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and four blocks per game as a senior at King.

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