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DeLisha Milton-Jones  

Forward for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks; Member of the U.S. Women's Gold Medal winning team at the 2000 Olympics

One of the last three players named to the 2008 U.S. Olympic women's basketball team, DeLisha Milton-Jones will make her second Olympic appearance in Beijing. A member of the gold medal-winning team at the 2000 Sydney Games, she was named to the 2004 Olympic squad, but unable to play due to injury. In February 2004, just days into training with the national team, Milton-Jones suffered a torn right ACL. She returned to play 19 games in the WNBA, but then sprained her medial collateral ligament and had to sit out the rest of the season and the Olympics. At the 2000 Games, Milton chipped in with 4.5 points and 2.4 rebounds as the U.S. won the second of three consecutive gold medals.

Milton-Jones rejoined the national team for the 2006 World Championships, where the U.S. lost in the semifinals and took bronze. She started all nine games and averaged 7.6 points and 4.9 rebounds in just over 18 minutes per game. That bronze kept the U.S. from automatically qualifying for Beijing, so it was forced to play in the 2007 FIBA Americas tournament, which Team USA won and qualified for the 2008 Games. Milton-Jones averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds. Previously, she won world championship gold in 1998 and 2002. In 1998 she averaged 7.1 points and 4.2 rebounds, and in 2002 she averaged 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds.

Selected by the Portland Power with the second overall pick in the 1997 American Basketball League draft, Milton-Jones was also taken by the Los Angeles Sparks with the fourth pick in the 1999 WNBA Draft (after the ABL folded in December 1998). She played six seasons with the Sparks before getting traded in 2005 to the Washington Mystics. Milton-Jones played three seasons there, then was traded back to Los Angeles before the 2008 season. She helped the Sparks to WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002 and they lost in the finals in 2003. U.S. Olympic team members Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker also play for the Sparks. Milton-Jones also has played professionally in Spain and Russia.

Milton-Jones completed a standout collegiate career at the University of Florida in 1997. As a senior, she led Florida to the Elite Eight at the NCAA Tournament and earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Year honors, while averaging 19.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. She was also a first-team All-America selection and recipient of the Wade Trophy, awarded annually to the nation's top senior in women's basketball. Milton-Jones left Florida prior to obtaining her degree in sports management, but has since completed her coursework for a degree in sports management and minor in mass communications.

A native of Riceboro, Georgia -- which has a population approximately 700 and is so small it didn't have a grocery store -- Milton-Jones was a high school basketball star, earning the Naismith High School Player of the Year award in 1992 and 1993. In June 2003, she married professional basketball player Roland Jones, who has played in Russia, Germany, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Venezuela, in the ABA and the CBA. He graduated from Texas in 1995 and the two began dating in 1999. DeLisha's nickname is "Sunshine" because she is always cheerful.

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