Friday was a day to bring an end to all the doubters for Brevin Jones.
When the St. Patrick basketball star put pen to paper in signing a letter of intent with Cincinnati Christian University, it was all the validation he needed.
“To finally say that I’ve made it to the next chapter is huge. Nobody thought I would be here except the people that are here today for me. I can finally say I did it,” Jones said.
After a bit of trouble he got into his sophomore year, Jones felt like he was being forgotten while attending Mason County. It was time for a change. He’d head over to St. Patrick his final two years of high school. The transition wasn’t easy at first, Jones pondered the move on his first day of class.
“I was in my math class and was like, ‘I can’t do this.’ I’m used to trying to be cool in class and be the class clown and what not. So I called my dad and told him I wanted to go back. He told me to think about the long run and you’re running back to your problems. That stuck to me and I didn’t want to be known as a quitter,” Jones said.
He’d stay determined, sticking with the plan. Given more of an opportunity on the basketball court helped. Jones would enter his junior season with a starting role for the Saints as they were primed to start changing the culture and bring a winning attitude to the floor.
But less than a half into his first game, Jones would be dealt another setback, injuring his knee and having to miss the whole season. Time to keep fighting. So Jones would have surgery on his knee and have to hit the rehab process. The rehabbing itself was intense, Jones work ethic made it even more intense.
“He would always want to be in the gym. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, I’d have to tell the kid no sometimes because he needed to rest his knee,” Saints coach Aaron Rigdon said. “I’ve never met a worker that hard. He’s an inspiration to me in my personal life. I wish I had that motivation he has. He worked harder than anybody I’ve ever seen, he really has.”
After 10 months of rehabbing, Jones was ready to give things a go for his senior season with a newly constructed knee and a new coach, Rigdon entering the fold, replacing John Kirkpatrick. Rigdon engulfed the opportunity with Jones because he felt it was like having another coach on the floor.
“He knows the game. A lot of kids these days don’t know the game like they did in the 80’s and 90’s, but Brevin knows the game pretty well. He helped me, leading on the floor and leading by example,” Rigdon said.
Jones hard work paid off in his senior season as he led the Saints in scoring, averaging 16.6 points a game, putting his arsenal of skills on display, knocking down 83 3-pointers at a 41 percent clip, hitting 78 percent of his free throw attempts to go with a team-high seven rebounds a game.
His play merited All-10th Region honorable mention honors as well as earning a spot on The Ledger Independent’s All-Area second team. He was just one of two players in the 10th Region to be in the top 10 in the region in points per game, rebounds per game and 3-point percentage.
“He’s a pure shooter and can slash too. He can get to the basket and plays good defense,” Rigdon said. “He’s got a lot of natural talent. As he gets people to work with him and he gets more time removed from his injury, he’s going to get better and better.”
Jones still wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to continue playing. Without a junior season or a summer of AAU and team ball made it tough for him in the recruiting process. After the season, he’d send out numerous emails and fill out recruiting surveys to coaches letting them know of his interest.
“I knew I had to work harder than everybody to be seen. I didn’t really know what to do. I had one highlight tape after my junior year and it was from a scrimmage game. I was emailing coaches, NAIA, D-III, D-II coaches just maybe to get a reply. I was checking my email every day. Nothing there, wait four hours, no replies,” Jones said.
His diligence finally started to pay off as he got in contact with Midway, Wilmington, Rio Grande, Cincinnati Christian and a couple of prep schools.
Then the offer finally came in his religion class.
“I finally got a text message from CCU’s coach. They were going to offer me this amount and I was just in shock. I didn’t know how to take it. Every kid is just proud to tweet out their first offer. I was hyped to tweet all that out, I’m a social media guy and that was just a dream come true. Since my sophomore year I’ve been dreaming of this,” Jones said.
Jones plans on majoring in education in hopes of becoming a teacher and possibly a basketball coach.
“Hopefully come back here and be Coach Rigdon’s assistant for a little while. That would be pretty cool,” Jones said.
For now, it’s back to work to prove he can do another thing…play at the next level.