DALLAS, Texas (KSNW) – Nickerson native Ava Jones spent Friday evening in Dallas, cheering on the University of Iowa Hawkeye women in the NCAA Final Four against South Carolina.
Ava committed to play basketball for Iowa last July, just days before she and her family were hit by a car in Louisville, Kentucky, leaving her future on the court uncertain. The Hawkeyes are honoring Jones’ scholarship, and she will be joining the team in the fall.
“It’s super exciting. I just am so proud of this team and what they’ve accomplished this year, and I can’t wait for next year to be on that bench with them,” said Ava.
Over the past eight months, Iowa has supported Ava and maintained close contact with her. Ava says the team has great character, on and off the court.
“It’s more than basketball. Caitlin [Clark] goes to the Iowa Hospital all the time, and whenever I was in the hospital, I liked people coming and seeing me, and so she does that,” said Ava. “And then everyone just works so hard on that team to be at the Final Four.”
Ava has undergone surgery on her right knee. Now, she is waiting to have work done on her shoulder and another surgery for her left ACL.
The Nickerson High School athlete shot the last basket of her high school career earlier this year. Now, she is hoping to take the court with the Hawkeyes in the near future.
“My knees have gotten better. I mean, walking is so much better than it was. So, I mean, it’s just one step, one day at a time. I hope to be there playing in the Final Four someday,” she said.
Ava’s family is happy to see the team rallying behind Ava through everything they’ve been through.
“I’m just excited for her to go off to school and have that support system there and just start a new chapter almost. I’m sure they’ll take care of her there,” said Ava’s brother Hunter Jones.