MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Kevin Jones has created a diverse pro basketball resume for himself since his final game as a Mountaineer. He added another accomplishment to the list Sunday, by helping his home country win a game in Cuba for the first time in 27 years.
The former WVU men’s basketball forward logged his first two appearances for the United States in FIBA World Cup qualifying contests last week. Jones totaled 12 points in those two games, as the Americans lost to Mexico, 78-70, and then bounced back with a 93-62 victory over Cuba.
Though he was limited to just over eight minutes of game time, Jones scored six points and secured three rebounds to help the U.S. beat Cuba Sunday. That matchup marked the first meeting between the U.S. and Cuba in Havanna since 1991.
Thursday’s loss to Mexico was a bit of a shocker for the Americans, and it came despite a much stronger performance from Jones, who scored six points on 3-of-5 shooting, grabbed six rebounds and logged nearly 18 minutes. He was dubbed one of the game’s top performers on the FIBA website.
According to USA Basketball, Mexico has only beaten the United States one other time in 30 meetings, with that previous Mexican victory coming in the 2011 Pan Am Games.
The United States had already locked up a spot in the next round of World Cup qualifying before those two games, but concluded the opening round with a 5-1 record and first place in its group. The roster, chosen by head coach Jeff Van Gundy, was comprised primarily of current and former G League players.