Jones happy to be backPublished 5:33pm Wednesday, December 26, 2012
CHOCOWINITY — Southside basketball coach Sean White probably got a ton of great presents this holiday season but it would be hard for any of them to match the joy he received from a single text message he received on Dec. 1.
The message was sent by junior forward Andrew Jones, and it let his coach know that he would be all right and ready for the next practice.
The text sent a wave of relief over White and the Seahawks basketball community. Less than 24 hours before that message the idea of Jones participating in the next practice – or possibly the rest of the season for that matter – was hard to imagine.
The previous night Jones and the Seahawks were locked in a heated battle with area rival Washington, who held a slim 57-55 lead with 2:01 left in the fourth quarter.
Looking to make a play on defense, Jones ranged toward the sideline and dove for the ball as it carried out of bounds near the Seahawks’ bench. The Seahawks forward crashed through the metallic chairs then hit the bleachers, lying motionless on the ground filling the arena with fear for the worst.
“I was obviously concerned,” White said recalling the incident. “You want your players to make a good hard play like that but you want them to pop back up. When he stayed down I was really concerned.”
The Southside trainers and EMT services were quick to get to Jones, who was taking inventory of his body as he lay on the ground.
“I couldn’t feel anything for a while,” Jones said. “It took about five seconds before I could feel anything.”
After an approximately 10 minute delay Jones was carried of the court in a stretcher and taken to the local hospital. For White, who instructed Jones to guard the sideline on that play, the scene was an emotional one.
“I called a timeout before that play because we were pressing and trying to get some turnovers. I set up the press and told Andrew to play close to the sideline and cheat over to cut off that pass down the sideline,” White said. “The pass was a little bit out of bounds and that’s when he jumped into the bench. I felt like at one point I put him in harms way because I made him move over there.”
Visibly shaken, White and his family immediately went to the hospital after the loss to the Pam Pack to check on Jones. It was there they learned he had sustained a bruised back.
The following day White received a text message from the tough-as-nails Jones saying he was ready to get back on the court.
“He texted me that Saturday around noon and told me he was feeling a whole lot better and that he was ready to practice on Monday,” White said. “I was definitely relieved. The boy’s tough, there’s no doubt about it.”
Jones would not only return to practice, but played in the next game and was Seahawks’ second-leading scorer during a win over Mattamuskeet.