What Happened to Ava Jones Iowa? The Journey of a Basketball Star

Ava Jones, a standout basketball player from Nickerson, Kansas, and a committed recruit for the Iowa women’s basketball team, has experienced a tumultuous journey over the past year. The story of what happened to Ava …

what happened to ava jones iowa

Ava Jones, a standout basketball player from Nickerson, Kansas, and a committed recruit for the Iowa women’s basketball team, has experienced a tumultuous journey over the past year. The story of what happened to Ava Jones Iowa is one of resilience, tragedy, and an unwavering spirit.

Ava Jones and her mother,

Amy Jones, finally returned home to Nickerson late Thursday night, as confirmed by the family. “They are both happy to be home, finally,” said Ava’s grandmother, Mary Alice Jones. “Both are doing well.” The Nickerson High School productions department posted an Instagram photo of Ava with the new head volleyball coach, Chelsey Nichols, marking their homecoming.

A little over a month prior,

Ava and Amy Jones were severely injured in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. An allegedly impaired driver veered off the road and struck them, along with Ava’s father, Trey Jones, and her younger brother, Creek Jones. Tragically, Trey Jones, a teacher and head track coach at Nickerson High School, did not survive. Creek Jones was discharged with minor injuries, but Ava and Amy faced severe trauma.

Ava and Amy Jones spent time recovering at the Louisville Rehabilitation Institute. Ava made remarkable progress, even shooting a small ball into a hoop during her first week in rehabilitation. They both passed tests to eat regular meals, a significant milestone in their recovery, as shared on the Jones Family Updates Facebook group. Although they were initially scheduled to return home on August 17, Amy had to undergo additional surgeries to clean out infections in her legs, delaying their homecoming.

The Iowa women’s basketball team made it clear they would honor Ava Jones’ scholarship regardless of her ability to play. Ava, ranked among ESPNW’s top 100 players in the 2023 class, was committed to Arizona State before deciding to reopen her recruitment after a coaching change. She ultimately chose Iowa, where she planned to continue her basketball career.

Ava Jones’ athletic achievements are impressive. During her junior season at Nickerson, she averaged 20.8 points and 15.4 rebounds per game, leading her team to a fourth-place finish at the 3A state basketball tournament.

Coaches named her the Central Kansas League girls’ most valuable player. Ava’s talents extend beyond basketball; she won the 4A girls’ high jump as a sophomore and was a leading player on Nickerson’s volleyball team. She also excelled in track, qualifying for four events at the state meet and placing in the top seven in three events.

Despite the accident,

Ava Jones remains dedicated to her academic and athletic pursuits. Iowa women’s basketball coach Jan Jensen announced that Ava, who was seriously injured by an impaired driver in 2022, would take a medical disqualification and retire from college basketball. The decision was made after consulting with team doctors and athletic trainers. Ava will remain on scholarship and continue working toward her degree, her scholarship not counting against the team’s limit of 15 active players.

In a heartfelt message on social media,

Ava expressed her gratitude for being part of the Iowa women’s basketball program and announced her medical retirement. She thanked her coaches, doctors, teammates, trainers, and family for their unwavering support and looked forward to the next chapter of her life.

The tragedy that befell the Jones family occurred on July 5, 2022, when an impaired driver struck them on a sidewalk in Louisville, Kentucky, where Ava was competing in an AAU basketball tournament. Ava suffered a traumatic brain injury, torn ligaments in both knees, and a shoulder injury. Amy Jones endured a brain injury and 21 broken bones. Trey Jones died in the hospital following the crash.

The driver, Michael Hurley, was indicted by a grand jury and charged with murder, first-degree assault, fourth-degree assault, and operating a motor vehicle under the influence. Hurley admitted to taking the opioid hydrocodone before driving and was on probation for drug-related charges at the time of the crash.

Despite the adversity,

Ava Jones’ spirit and determination remain strong. The 6-foot-2 athlete, ranked 83rd by ESPN HoopGurlz for the class of 2023, had initially committed to Arizona State but decommitted after Coach Charli Turner Thorne retired. Ava announced her commitment to Iowa just two days before the tragic crash. Iowa’s support for Ava has been unwavering, ensuring her scholarship would be honored regardless of her ability to play.

“We wish Ava the best on the road to recovery and fully support her decision to step away from the game,” said Coach Jensen. “She worked tirelessly to get to this point, but she made the best decision for herself and her well-being.”

The story of Ava Jones is one of resilience and inspiration. Despite facing unimaginable challenges, she continues to push forward, supported by her family, friends, and the Iowa basketball community.

FAQs

What injuries did Ava Jones suffer in the accident?
Ava Jones sustained a traumatic brain injury, torn ligaments in both knees, and a shoulder injury.

What happened to Ava Jones’ family in the accident?
Ava’s father, Trey Jones, died in the hospital following the crash. Her mother, Amy Jones, suffered a brain injury and 21 broken bones. Her younger brother, Creek Jones, had minor injuries and was discharged shortly after.

Will Ava Jones continue her education at Iowa?
Yes, Ava Jones will remain on scholarship at Iowa and continue working toward her degree despite her medical retirement from basketball.

How did Iowa respond to Ava Jones’ accident and injuries?
Iowa immediately announced that they would honor Ava’s scholarship regardless of her ability to play basketball. The team and community have shown tremendous support throughout her recovery.

What are some of Ava Jones’ athletic achievements?
Ava Jones was a standout basketball player, averaging 20.8 points and 15.4 rebounds per game in her junior season at Nickerson. She also excelled in high jump, volleyball, and track, showcasing her versatility and talent as a multi-sport athlete.

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