On Wednesday afternoon, sad news emerged about the health of University of Texas basketball player Andrew Jones. The sophomore, who started out the season with a lot of promise, has been diagnosed with leukemia.
A week ago, news came out that the guard was not feeling well. His coach, Shaka Smart, reportedly knew that there was something more extreme going on when the UT training staff was unable to give a diagnosis to him and he had been appearing unusually weak.
On Wednesday, the school announced the sad diagnosis. They released a statement from the family saying that Jones had gone through "a number of tests and evaluations over the past week."
The statement said, "He has begun treatments, and we hope everyone will keep him in your thoughts and prayers. This is obviously a difficult situation for our family, and we hope everyone will respect our privacy at this time."
Jones' coach said, "Speaking for our entire team and staff, we love Andrew and will do everything we can to support his family and help him get back to health. I want to thank everyone for being respectful of the privacy that the Jones family needs at this time."
On December 5, Jones suffered a hairline fracture in his wrist and had to sit out for three games. On December 29, he played 9 minutes and his coach noted that he looked extremely winded. On January 1, Smart noted that his leading scorer was still lacking energy. Now, the injury and Jones appearing "out of shape" makes sense in light of this sickness.
Before his broken wrist, the 6-foot-4 guard had been playing extremely well on the court. He had scored his career high of 19 points. As a freshman at UT, he shot 33 percent from the 3-point range and averaged 11.9 points per game.
He was hoping that his basketball skills would take him all the way to the NBA. His sister, Alexis, currently plays for the WNBA. Last May, Jones went to Chicago for an NBA scouting combine. When he decided to return to Texas as a sophomore, the guard stepped up his shooting game. In 10 games of the season, Jones shot 46.3 percent from the 3-point range. Additionally, he was averaging 16.6 points per game.
UT announced that freshman Jase Febres will take over Jones' starting position for the remainder of the season.
UT's athletic director Chris Del Conte said, "We know Andrew's a fighter with a strong family and our thoughts, prayers and support are fully behind them. At the University of Texas, we will do everything in our power to provide all of the resources we can to assist Andrew and his family."
Please be praying for Andrew Jones during this difficult time, and pray for wisdom for his doctors. In other pressing news, a famous model and actress from the '60s who dated Cary Grant just passed away.