Mountain View High School junior Angie Jones is an all-around athlete. She works every day on her basketball, tennis, bowling, track and field and golf skills, and also dabbles in table tennis and soccer.
The 18-year-old, who has Down syndrome, was named the Southern Arizona Special Olympics Athlete of the Year at an Oct. 10 ceremony.
The award honors athletes who demonstrate sportsmanship, spirit, a positive attitude and passion for sports.
Jones has participated in Special Olympics for seven years. Her father, Estes Elementary School teacher Steve Jones, said the ceremony was a watershed moment.
“We were just very proud of her,” he said. “I think sports gives her a lot of satisfaction. She knows her abilities, and I think she just likes to take advantage of those opportunities.”
We spoke with Angie about the award and her love of sports.
Q: How did it make you feel to win the award?
A: It was fun, and a good experience. They had me give a speech.
Q: Was it tough to speak in front of a crowd? How long was your speech?
A: It was a good speech. Five or 10 minutes. I’m used to speaking to people. It was fun and a good opportunity. My family was there. I had tears in my eyes at the end.
Q: What sport are you best at?
A: I think I’m best at basketball. I like drills, and also scrimmages.
Q: What are you best at in basketball?
A: I think, drills. We rebound and make bounce passes.
Q: Are you good at bounce passes? How about shooting?
A: I’m good at bounce passes, and I can shoot. I can make shots close to the basket and a little farther back, about halfway out, to the free-throw line. I can make free throws.
Q: What do you find difficult to do in sports?
A: Serving in tennis is tough, hitting it to the square that’s on the opposite side of you. I’ve tried baseball, and it’s really hard for me to hit. Tennis is much easier because the racket is wider. Soccer is hard for me, and I like football, but I don’t like getting tackled by other people.
Q: What do you like to do other than play sports?
A: I like watching the World Series and basketball.
Q: Is there an athlete you like to watch?
A: Brandon Horn. He’s a junior here (at Mountain View), like I am. He plays basketball for the school team.
Q: Do you plan on continuing to play sports?
A: I love sports. I like playing basketball, golf and tennis. I’ve also bowled with the Special Olympics. I’m working on tennis, and going to try out for the school team next semester.