Jones, Bryant Meet with WVU Fans as Careers Close - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Jones, Bryant Meet with WVU Fans as Careers Close


West Virginia's basketball seniors may have finished their time on the team, but they have not yet left the state that cheered them on behind.

On Saturday, Darryl "Truck" Bryant will make a stop in Bridgeport at the Meadowbrook Mall to sign autographs and take photos with fans as he begins to work toward the next step in his life after Mountaineers basketball.

Just a week ago, Kevin Jones sat in the same seat on the same stage, likely with many of the same fans, to greet his supporters as they wished him well in his future and thanked him for the years of hard work he put in at WVU.

"It's definitely a greet experience to meet some fans and people who are really big Mountaineer supporters outside of Morgantown," Jones said as he met with the fans. "That's why I'm here. I knew it was going to be a real nice setting."

A nice setting, indeed, as gold- and blue-clad fans weaved their way around the mall in a line that made the Easter Bunny jealous.

This time last year, Jones was going through much of the same preparation as he does now. He tested the NBA waters and put his body through the grinding workouts and combines that would get him noticed by the scouts who could provide him with a job.

Ultimately, he came back to WVU for his senior year and although he is back to that grind in anticipation of the draft in June, he knows this time it is different.

"It's more final and knowing that it's not a decision, it's something that you have to do because you're a senior and this is your last year," says Jones. "I've enjoyed my four years here and it's just time to move on to the next level and hopefully become successful there."

He certainly was successful in that last year of college ball. Leading the Big East in both scoring and rebounding while averaging 20 and 11, Jones put himself in a greater position to be drafted while lifting the team for much of the season.

In an interview during the season, Jones said he could not let himself pay any attention to his stats or to the historical nature of any of his accomplishments. He was focusing on winning, and anything else would have to wait until the end of the year.

So now that it's over, how does he view his scope of work from the past few months?

"I definitely appreciate it now, just knowing the company that I'm in or that I've been in and it's just been a blessing, man," says Jones. "I couldn't have done it without hard work, the support of my family and all the support of Mountaineer Nation."

It seemed for a few weeks there that each day came a new list with Kevin Jones on it. Whether it was a regional award or an all-American selection, the WVU forward was getting recognition few at this university have received.

Now he gets to enjoy it for a brief period of time as his attention shifts to the next step in his career.

"I've just been trying to relax my body and I'm starting to workout on Monday, getting ready for the draft and everything, but I'm mostly working out, spending time with my family and getting to be a normal kid for a little while," he says.

A normal kid. Well, last year, when John Flowers and Joe Mazzulla were afforded the opportunity to act like normal kids, they decided to essentially tour the country and live life on campus as they had seen their classmates do, but never really experienced on their own.

With all his free time, does Jones have any plans of following a similar path in the coming months?

"No," he laughs. "I mean, people handle it differently. Me and Truck talked about having a little vacation or whatever, but I don't know if we'll get the time because we're both occupied with working out and going to the next level."

Before he moved on to that next level, he wanted to spend some more time with the people who helped him accomplish so much at this one.


Truck Bryant will be at center court of the Meadowbrook Mall Saturday, April 7 from 2-4 p.m.

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