MERCED — Verleah Jones was conflicted.
The Merced College women's basketball player thoroughly enjoyed her two years playing on Don Reid Court. But the Blue Devil sophomore wasn't sure she wanted to continue playing.
Jones' 5.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game garnered the attention of a couple four-year schools, forcing her into some deep contemplation.
"I was definitely torn, because I wasn't sure if I wanted to just go to school," Jones said. "I know there's a point where I can't do this forever, but I decided why stop playing basketball if I still have the opportunity."
Jones signed to finish out her career with Pacific Union College.
She's one of three Blue Devil women's basketball players that are moving on.
Sophomore shooting guard Kelsey Lemasney signed with Chadron State College in Nebraska and freshman point guard Jasmine Joseph will transfer to Bethany College.
"What's great is obviously they have the basketball side down, but they understood the academics too," MC coach Allen Huddleston said. "All three of them were excellent students and it just gave them that many more opportunities.
"As a coach, you're always excited to see kids that work hard get rewarded for that effort."
Lemasney overcame a knee injury in her freshman season to become the team's top shooter.
Lemasney averaged 7.8 points per game and knocked down a team-best 56 3-pointers.
Joseph made the move from three guard to the point just before the season began and helped stabilize the MC back court.
She began to shine in Central Valley Conference play, averaging 5 points per game and 1.5 assists per game.
"I was definitely surprised to get contacted by a couple schools after just my freshman season," Joseph said. "I guess I showed I could handle playing a couple positions.
"Bethany was the perfect opportunity for me. They're just in their second year as a program, so I can help build it up and it's down south where all of my family is."