Iowa basketball commit Ava Jones, who tragically lost her father and sustained serious leg injuries after her family was struck by a car in July, officially signed her letter of intent on Wednesday.
Surrounded by her family at Nickerson High School in Kansas, Jones officially joined the Hawkeyes just months after suffering a traumatic brain injury and torn ligaments in both her knees after being struck by a car while walking on a sidewalk in Kentucky.
“Ava had an unfortunate accident this past summer,” head coach Lisa Bluder said in a press release. “We are signing her because we believe in her and she believes in us. She is a remarkable athlete with great versatility.”
IOWA COMMIT WILL LIKELY NEVER ‘PLAY BASKETBALL AGAIN’ AFTER BEING STRUCK BY A CAR COACH LISA BLUDER SAYS
“She is working hard to return to the athlete she was. When she takes the floor for Iowa, it will be a special moment for all of us.”
Bluder previously said in October that she was surprised Jones was even walking considering the extent of the injuries she sustained, adding that it was unlikely that she would ever play basketball again.
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“She’s still somebody that we are going to have as a part of our program because we believe in her,” Bluder said at the time. “She committed to us, and just because she had something bad happen to her doesn’t mean that we turn our back on her. We’ll be there for her and her family as much as we can.”
While in Kentucky with her parents and younger brother for a basketball tournament, the Jones family was struck by an impaired driver on July 5. Her father, Trey Jones, died as a result, while her mother suffered a brain injury and 21 broken bones, ESPN reported.
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“It felt really good to have signed; it actually feels more real,” Jones said Wednesday, via ESPN. “I want to play basketball again. Hopefully, I’ll be able to, but I don’t know. But even if I’m not able to, I will still be around the team. I love the Iowa team and the coaches.”