Haley Jones, driven by her brother Cameron, arrives at Santa Cruz City Hall.
(Jaden Schaul/For Lookout Santa Cruz)
Civic Life

Hometown hero: Haley Jones gets a parade and a key to the city

The Stanford sophomore, Santa Cruz native and Archbishop Mitty grad soaked in her citywide day of honor after leading the Cardinal back to the NCAA title promised land.

Haley Jones took over the Final Four in San Antonio a month ago, leading the Stanford women to their first NCAA championship in 29 years.

So it’s only right that she also took over her hometown for an afternoon on Sunday.

The Stanford sophomore and Santa Cruz native received the vaunted “Key To The City” during a ceremony at Santa Cruz City Hall. That was proceeded by a procession of vehicles that rolled down Pacific Avenue honking and cheering and making any kind of noise possible on Jones’ behalf.

It included fire and police vehicles and a vintage blue convertible Ford Bronco in which Jones and several teammates stood waving to the dozens young and old who had lined up to cheer her on.

Vice-Mayor Sonja Bruner presented the ceremonial key — which is actually a plaque — to Jones as family, friends and community supporters looked on with pride and shouts of joy.

Jones said she was humbled and is always proud to tell people she’s from “Santa Cruz, the little beach town.”

“This is the best support system of a city I could ever ask for,” she added. “I’m so grateful to have been a part of something that puts us on the map even more than we already were. And thank you my family and friends for everything that you do for me ... I’m just so happy.”