Ja’Lynn Burton-Jones named Knightly News Athlete of the Year

Ja’Lynn Burton-Jones took home the second-ever Knightly News Athlete of the Year Award at the Activities and Athletics Ceremony for Central Penn College on May 28.

The ceremony, which was held online through Zoom, honored clubs, club members and athletes, and reviewed the 2019-2020 academic year at the college.


Burton-Jones, a senior guard for the Central Penn Lady Knights basketball team, had another remarkable season for the team.  She led the Knights in points per game (18.4), free-throw percentage (69%) and minutes per game (29.8), while finishing second on the team in steals per game (2.1) and assists per game (3.5).  She helped to lead the team to a program-best 15-4 mark on the season.

A true leader on the team, Burton-Jones accepted a different role on the team this year, looking to be more of a distributor than a scorer after leading the nation in scoring with 31.8 points per game in 2018-19. In addition, Burton-Jones fought through a serious ankle sprain prior to the team’s break for the holidays, insisting that she would not miss a game this season.

In addition, Burton-Jones reached the 1,000-point plateau earlier this season, an accomplishment that was recognized in front of a packed crowd of friends and family members.

Central Penn College Athletic Director and former Lady Knights head coach Kasey Hicks discussed what Burton-Jones has meant to the program over the past several years.

“Ja’Lynn has been a driving force in our ability to turn the women’s program around,” Hicks said. “She came in and helped build a winning culture.  She put the women’s basketball team on the map and we hope to continue to follow in her leadership and maintain a winning culture.”

Ja’Lynn Burton-Jones, Knightly News Athlete of the Year. Photo courtesy of Central Penn College.

Hicks went on to describe Burton-Jones’ leadership.

“She has been an absolute leader for not only the women’s basketball program but the entire athletic department,” Hicks said. “The mark she will leave on Central Penn will never be forgotten.  I’m forever grateful for what Ja’Lynn has done for Knight Nation!”

This is the second year that the Knightly News has given the Athlete of the Year Award.  Last year’s recipient was men’s baseball star Connor Graham.

The award comes on the heels of the Knightly News’ heavy involvement with the athletic program, with the 2019-20 season being the first time in club history that offered home broadcasts for all five Central Penn College sports programs.  Prior to the pandemic, the club was in conversations to add additional games for this season, and possibly to include road and playoff games.  This is something the club will continue to consider.

When considering nominees for the award, the Knightly News looked at contributions on the field and in the classroom, but also the way nominees portrayed what it means to be a Central Penn Knight student-athlete.  Burton-Jones has made the dean’s list at the college on multiple occasions and has also provided the club with nearly unlimited access before and after games.

After a careful deliberation among club members, Burton-Jones rose to the top and was unanimously selected for the award.

by Paul Miller, Knightly News Adviser – Read the original article here.

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