Every day, the Valparaiso junior woke up and got to work on his right knee. Jones tore his ACL in his first AAU practice after the high school season in March, and he wanted more than anything to get back for the next high school season.
He had multiple different schedules and a list of exercises taped above his bed. Just 8 1/2 months after the injury, Jones is fully healthy and ready to start in the Vikings' back court.
“I was really scared, especially about missing next season,” Jones said. “Even then, I knew that if I could come back around for next season, I needed to be prepared and ready to go.”
Jones slid backward in a pickup game trying to deflect a backdoor pass when he hurt his knee. He already tore the ACL in his left knee entering his eighth-grade season, but he didn't know right away that he had done it again.
A study by Jeff Stotts of instreetclothes.com showed NBA players who had torn an ACL missed an average of 327 days — just under 11 months — as of 2014. Jones sought out the surgeon who did his first surgery: Dr. Brian Cole, the Bulls and White Sox team physician.