Kevin Jones is looking for a fresh start, and that will lead the WVU forward overseas once again in the very near future.
After spending time in training camp with the New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA, Jones said that he’ll now look to build his basketball resume by spending time abroad.
“I’ve just been thinking about a couple of options overseas,” Jones told WVUPros in a recent interview. “Dubai, Turkey, Italy — those are a few different options that I’m looking at.”
A year ago, Jones left the NBA’s Development League and went to the Philippines to play for the San Miguel Beermen. He averaged 27.4 points and 15.0 rebounds per game with the Beermen. He left the D-League after averaging 16.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per night to go along with an All-Star selection.
The move to step away from the hopes of getting a shot in the NBA is one that Jones has thought about for quite some time, but the talented forward believes it’s the best decision for him overall.
“Other than building my basketball resume, I just want to play against great competition, play in great leagues and travel,” Jones said. “I want to explore the world and get a different experience.”
Though it seems that his mind is made up about taking his talents overseas, the thought of the NBA still comes up.
“You never know what’s going to happen in the league,” Jones said, referring to the NBA where he scored 3.0 points and hauled in 2.4 rebounds per night with the Cleveland Cavaliers during 32 games in the 2012-13 season. “I need to build my resume, so I feel that I need to go to a real good team over there. I can always come back here and maybe join a D-League team or maybe try summer league.”
Playing overseas may not have a direct effect on his chances of earning an NBA contract other than the simple fact that he’ll be constantly getting better and working on his game.
What playing overseas does come with, however, is the fact that Jones will have to leave his family and his West Virginia home to head to a country unknown to him. That, Jones said, is just part of the of being a basketball player.
“It’s tough but it’s part of the game,” he said. “Ultimately I think it’ll mature me more and I’ll get more life experience.”
Many of Jones’ former teammates currently play overseas, and most of them are enjoying a very solid career. When those players come home for any break, they generally congregate in Morgantown for hoop sessions, workouts and some laughs.
“Me and Alex (Ruoff) lifted a couple of days together and I usually get to see all of those guys when they come back,” Jones said. “Basketball comes up a lot. We reminisce on old times and just catch up. We keep it real light and there’s always a lot of laughs.”
With plenty of his friends playing in leagues overseas, naturally Jones sought their opinion on where to go.
“I asked a lot of the other guys their opinions on what they think because ultimately those guys have played two or three years over there and this is my first stint really,” he admitted.
When it comes down to it, Jones is hoping to see a resurrection of his basketball career all while playing great competition and traveling the world — something he’s always wanted to do.
“At the end of the day,” he said, “I think if I can do that, that’s a good career.”