Kevin Jones Fights for NBA Dream - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Kevin Jones Fights for NBA Dream

Posted:
Former WVU standout Kevin Jones is working toward a return to the NBA after four seasons overseas. Former WVU standout Kevin Jones is working toward a return to the NBA after four seasons overseas.
MORGANTOWN -

Kevin Jones has traveled the world to play the game he loves.

A professional career in basketball has taken him to the Philippines, France, Serbia and, most recently, Russia. Now he is back on his college campus with one goal in mind: A spot on an NBA roster.

“It’s tough because you feel like you’re supposed to be in a certain position and you’re not and it keeps on eating at you,” Jones said this week in Morgantown.

This summer, the former West Virginia University standout will take one more shot at his ultimate dream.

He has been close before. He has tasted the NBA during stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and its D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, but the past four seasons have been spent in foreign countries with foreign languages and foreign leagues on basketball.

For a native of Mount Vernon, New York, it was a transition that took some getting used to.

“I wasn’t familiar with anything at all before I had to deal with it,” Jones said of the overseas game.

This past season, Jones joined Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia’s VTB United League. His squad made it to the semifinals in both league play and in the EuroCup, despite a rocky start to the season that resulted in the team firing its head coach in the middle of the schedule. Jones led the team in both scoring (13.2 ppg) and rebounding (6.5 rpg), playing in 23 of the team’s 31 league games before suffering a fractured tailbone that has sidelined him the past five weeks.

“A lot of people definitely look down on overseas as far as competition and I can’t lie, I was one of those people,” Jones said. “I always wanted to play in the NBA, I never really had my mind on overseas, but when I got there and played against the competition, these guys are really good. There’s a whole lot of guys that can play easily in the NBA and make good money, but they choose to play overseas.”

Now Jones knows he has a place overseas, wherever that may take him. These past four seasons have erased the stigma he had about foreign ball, but they have no erased his desire to land a position competing at the highest level of the sport back home in the United States.

“I’m very competitive and I feel like I can play at that level and I have played at that level and when I’ve had the chance to produce, I have produced well,” Jones said.

In his season with Cleveland, Jones averaged three points and 2.4 rebounds in 10.4 minutes of action, appearing in 32 games. These days, he watches those who are fortunate enough to make a living in the NBA and wonders why he couldn’t find just as much success on that stage.

“I don’t want to be one of those guys like, oh, I could have done that or I could have made that play better, but it definitely gives me the itch to say I feel like I can be on the court playing with these guys and against these guys,” Jones said. “It just gives me more motivation than anything.”

The biggest lesson Jones has learned since he began earning a paycheck to play basketball is that he needs to be confident in himself. Fresh out of college, he entered a profession with trepidation and he believes it impacted his ability to make the right first impression. Now, with experience and maturity on his side, not to mention a new agent, he is in search of another opportunity to prove himself in Summer League or in training camp.

He knows that at 27, time is not on his side.

“Nobody’s getting younger and I realize that. I know I still have a small window. I believe in myself to the point where I think I can take advantage of the window that I do have,” Jones said. “Maybe it might not be in the cards for me to be in the NBA, but it would be eating away at me if I didn’t try my hardest to do it.”

To that end, Jones has joined former teammates and coaches back at West Virginia University to perfect his game at the basketball practice facility while he continues to heal and eventually show what he can offer if an NBA team wants to give him the chance he’s been working toward.

  • BasketballMore>>

  • WVU Hoops Stars Take Alumni Game to Fairmont State

    WVU Hoops Stars Take Alumni Game to Fairmont State

    Former Mountaineers basketball players gather at the inaugural Alumni Game in 2015. (PHOTO: Emily Coyle)Former Mountaineers basketball players gather at the inaugural Alumni Game in 2015. (PHOTO: Emily Coyle)

    John Flowers brings back the annual event as Mountaineer hoops stars put on a show to benefit WVU Medicine Children's. 

    John Flowers brings back the annual event as Mountaineer hoops stars put on a show to benefit WVU Medicine Children's. 

  • WVU Big 12 Athlete of the Year Nominees

    Monday, July 24 2017 5:37 PM EDT2017-07-24 21:37:56 GMT
    WVU junior guard Jevon Carter will return for his senior season at WVU. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU junior guard Jevon Carter will return for his senior season at WVU. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Jevon Carter and Kadeisha Buchanan are WVU's candidates for Big 12 Athlete of the Year.

    Jevon Carter and Kadeisha Buchanan are WVU's candidates for Big 12 Athlete of the Year.

  • Huggins Announces Staff Reorganization

    Huggins Announces Staff Reorganization

    Monday, July 24 2017 3:50 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:50:51 GMT
    Bob Huggins speaks with WVU senior guard Teyvon Myers along the sideline. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Bob Huggins speaks with WVU senior guard Teyvon Myers along the sideline. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins announced today two title changes and a new hire for the men’s basketball staff.

    West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins announced today two title changes and a new hire for the men’s basketball staff.

  • More SportsMore>>

  • WVU Big 12 Athlete of the Year Nominees

    Monday, July 24 2017 5:37 PM EDT2017-07-24 21:37:56 GMT
    WVU junior guard Jevon Carter will return for his senior season at WVU. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU junior guard Jevon Carter will return for his senior season at WVU. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Jevon Carter and Kadeisha Buchanan are WVU's candidates for Big 12 Athlete of the Year.

    Jevon Carter and Kadeisha Buchanan are WVU's candidates for Big 12 Athlete of the Year.

  • Caldwell Returns to WVU as Assistant Coach

    Caldwell Returns to WVU as Assistant Coach

    Thursday, July 20 2017 2:23 PM EDT2017-07-20 18:23:25 GMT
    Coach Carey addresses the media after WVU's first exhibition matchup against Concord. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)Coach Carey addresses the media after WVU's first exhibition matchup against Concord. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    Former Mountaineer student-athlete Christal Caldwell will returns to Morgantown as an assistant coach.

    Former Mountaineer student-athlete Christal Caldwell will returns to Morgantown as an assistant coach.

  • Martin Invited to USA Basketball U23 Team Trials

    Martin Invited to USA Basketball U23 Team Trials

    Tuesday, July 11 2017 1:41 PM EDT2017-07-11 17:41:40 GMT
    WVU's Tynice Martin has been invited to the 2017 USA Basketball U23 National Team Trials. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)WVU's Tynice Martin has been invited to the 2017 USA Basketball U23 National Team Trials. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    WVU women’s basketball junior guard Tynice Martin is one of 40 players invited to the 2017 USA Basketball U23 National Team Trials.

    WVU women’s basketball junior guard Tynice Martin is one of 40 players invited to the 2017 USA Basketball U23 National Team Trials.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Huggins Announces Staff Reorganization

    Huggins Announces Staff Reorganization

    Monday, July 24 2017 3:50 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:50:51 GMT
    Bob Huggins speaks with WVU senior guard Teyvon Myers along the sideline. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Bob Huggins speaks with WVU senior guard Teyvon Myers along the sideline. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins announced today two title changes and a new hire for the men’s basketball staff.

    West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins announced today two title changes and a new hire for the men’s basketball staff.

  • WVU Hoops Stars Take Alumni Game to Fairmont State

    WVU Hoops Stars Take Alumni Game to Fairmont State

    Former Mountaineers basketball players gather at the inaugural Alumni Game in 2015. (PHOTO: Emily Coyle)Former Mountaineers basketball players gather at the inaugural Alumni Game in 2015. (PHOTO: Emily Coyle)

    John Flowers brings back the annual event as Mountaineer hoops stars put on a show to benefit WVU Medicine Children's. 

    John Flowers brings back the annual event as Mountaineer hoops stars put on a show to benefit WVU Medicine Children's. 

  • WVU Big 12 Athlete of the Year Nominees

    Monday, July 24 2017 5:37 PM EDT2017-07-24 21:37:56 GMT
    WVU junior guard Jevon Carter will return for his senior season at WVU. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU junior guard Jevon Carter will return for his senior season at WVU. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Jevon Carter and Kadeisha Buchanan are WVU's candidates for Big 12 Athlete of the Year.

    Jevon Carter and Kadeisha Buchanan are WVU's candidates for Big 12 Athlete of the Year.

  • Former WVU QB Trickett Stars on Netflix Series "Last Chance U"

    Former WVU QB Trickett Stars on Netflix Series "Last Chance U"

    Former WVU quarterback Clint Trickett discusses his first year as a coach at EMCC.Former WVU quarterback Clint Trickett discusses his first year as a coach at EMCC.

    Trickett's first year as a quarterback coach happened to feature a film crew everywhere he went. See how it went and what he thinks of the 2016 Mountaineers. 

    Trickett's first year as a quarterback coach happened to feature a film crew everywhere he went. See how it went and what he thinks of the 2016 Mountaineers. 

  • United Plant Savers Host 'Future of American Ginseng and Forest Botanicals' Symposium

    United Plant Savers Host 'Future of American Ginseng and Forest Botanicals' Symposium

    Wednesday, July 12 2017 4:21 PM EDT2017-07-12 20:21:49 GMT

    Morgantown has welcomed the three-day "Future of American Ginseng and Forest Botanicals" symposium this week.  The United Plant Savers along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) hosted the event at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place July 12-14. The goal of the symposium was to promote the conservation, culturalism and commerce of ginseng and other forest botanicals. Herbalists, botanists, researchers, foresters, growers, apothec...

    Morgantown has welcomed the three-day "Future of American Ginseng and Forest Botanicals" symposium this week. The United Plant Savers along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) hosted the event at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place July 12-14.The goal of the symposium was to promote the conservation...

  • WVi Has Moved!

    WVi Has Moved!

    Friday, September 2 2011 1:45 PM EDT2011-09-02 17:45:05 GMT
    Don't worry, wvillustrated.com is still alive and well. WVi has upgraded to a brand new and improved website. Please check out http://www.wvillustrated.com/ We hope you enjoy the new WVi experience.
  • Caldwell Returns to WVU as Assistant Coach

    Caldwell Returns to WVU as Assistant Coach

    Thursday, July 20 2017 2:23 PM EDT2017-07-20 18:23:25 GMT
    Coach Carey addresses the media after WVU's first exhibition matchup against Concord. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)Coach Carey addresses the media after WVU's first exhibition matchup against Concord. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    Former Mountaineer student-athlete Christal Caldwell will returns to Morgantown as an assistant coach.

    Former Mountaineer student-athlete Christal Caldwell will returns to Morgantown as an assistant coach.

  • WATCH: WVU Football Players Talk at Big 12 Media Days

    WATCH: WVU Football Players Talk at Big 12 Media Days

    Tuesday, July 18 2017 10:43 PM EDT2017-07-19 02:43:41 GMT

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football players as they take part in 2017 Big 12 Mediia Days.

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football players as they take part in 2017 Big 12 Mediia Days.