Madison Academy basketball star starts nonprofit after successful pro career

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – A Madison Academy-turned pro basketball star is sharing her journey and using her experiences, both good and bad, to help others right here at home.

Sierra Jones is spending her Valentine’s Day weekend promoting her new nonprofit, “You Are Redeemed Ministries” at the Parkway Place Mall.

“The mission of ‘You are Redeemed Ministries’ is to provide impoverished families with healthy foods, access to fitness, activities, and educational support to reform, repair, and restore lives in our community,” Jones said.

Jones said it was a long road to get here. She pulled inspiration for this mission from her basketball career; a star player at Madison Academy, who went on to play in college at Belmont, then professionally in Spain, fulfilling a lifelong dream of hers.

“I sat down one day and was like, I can do all of this back home and make a bigger impact,” she said.

So she moved back to the states and began pursuing her Master’s degree but realized something still wasn’t right.

“I felt a tug in my heart to stop what I was doing and go full-time ministry. You might think I’m crazy because I had a full-ride, I was a GA in the Spanish department, everything paid for, but I could tell God was telling me to do something crazy,” she said.

She reflected on a life-changing car accident that happened in college to help give her strength to change course yet again.

“God put that on my heart, he was like just like you let go of that wheel, you know you had no control over that moment, let go of your life. This life is not yours,” she said.

First, she wrote her book, “Have Faith Like Noah,” about overcoming the wreck, and addressed trauma and healing from what she calls years of verbal abuse from her college basketball coach.

Now, she’s using that book, and her athletic success to help raise awareness of the nonprofit; a calling finally answered.

“This is starting from the ground up. I had this vision so I’m using the little savings I got from playing overseas to start this up,” she said. “I’m really hands-on so if I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to.”

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