In the current era of big-time college basketball, few highly-rated players remain in school for four years. The lure of “instant riches” available to virtually all players who are drafted by National Basketball Association (NBA) teams is just too compelling or hard to pass up.
So when a top player announces he plans to return to the university that recruited him for his junior or senior year, it is big news. Vanderbilt University was proud to announce that one if its best players is returning to the school for his junior year.
That player is Damian Jones, the 6’10’ Center for the Commodores. Jones, had he decided to declare his availability for the NBA Draft, would have almost certainly merited a high draft position. It could have resulted in his becoming a millionaire while still in his early 20s. But this conscientious young man, at the urging of his family, will stay in school, earn his degree and help the Vanderbilt University Commodores become more successful “on the hardwood.”
The team and its head coach are, of course, delighted that Jones is going to be on the squad for at least one more season, possibly for two years. His presence matters because it makes the Commodores a much better basketball team.
Damian Jones, who was selected to the All-ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) First Team in 2014, is also a player that Draft Express has ranked as the highest-rated performer to return to school in 2015-2016. That’s commendable and, as said earlier, great news for the Commodores.
Damian Jones, who once led Scotklandville High School to state championship victories in 2012 and 2013 also produced great personal statistics last year when he was just a Sophomore.
The big and agile Center scored 14.5 points per game and pulled down 6.5 rebounds per game, on defense and on offense. Production like that is not easy to get which is why this young star’s decision to return to Vanderbilt is so important to the team and its morale.
With Damian Jones positioned at the low post, the Commodores can count on having a strong defense and a scoring presence “inside the paint.”
It remains to be seen if Damian Jones will make the same decision a year from now and complete four years of college at Vanderbilt University. If he has a good season this year, the lure of NBA riches may become too hard to pass up. Of course, this young man has strong family support and sound advice from his parents.
He may opt to remain in college even if a big professional contract becomes available. That is clear-headed and smart, a decision that, if made, holds out the promise of a solid future for this top player from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Courtesy of NBC Sports