josh jones greg mcdermott

Heart ailment ends career of Creighton guard Josh Jones

Leave a comment

After passing out shortly before Creighton’s game at Nebraska on December 6, senior guard Josh Jones underwent a surgical procedure in an attempt to rectify the heart ailment that first became an issue in 2007 when he played at Omaha Central High School.

Doctors determined that Jones’ passing out in Lincoln was triggered by an atrial flutter, but more tests revealed a more serious issue. As a result, Jones’ on-court time as a Bluejay has come to an end.

The nine-hour procedure that Jones underwent on December 18, a radiofrequency ablation, is a non-surgical procedure used in an attempt to address certain types of rapid heart beating with atrial flutter being one of those.

Jones will undergo another such procedure next month according to the Omaha World-Herald, and there’s a chance that his situation may require another open-heart procedure (Jones underwent one in 2007) or even the implanting of a defibrillator.

“Today I would like to announce my early retirement 4rm my collegiate athletic career, and potentially further basketball aspirations,” Jones announced via Twitter on Wednesday. “I’m may not have my career at bball anymore, but I do have my career in a healthy life and other successful opportunities. Thanks for support.

“After being so strong having to be away from the game.. I shed a tear of bitter sweetness about the feelings as I walk away from the game.”

Is it sad that Jones’ career has been derailed by a heart ailment? Definitely, but as NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster pointed out in August when Tulsa’s Kodi Maduka had to make a similar decision this should be seen as a joyous event.

Creighton loses a valuable reserve in Jones, as he was averaging 7.0 points per game in just under 20 minutes of action before the health scare in Lincoln, but his impact on the program has been about more than basketball.

And that’s something Jones will be able to look back on with pride as he moves forward with life after basketball.

“When I look back on it now, I know what I want my legacy to be,” Jones said. “It’s about how a young kid from north Omaha who grew up with nothing but a dream and faced every adversity possible stayed focused and became successful.

“If I can do that, it would mean more to me than any basket I ever scored.”

It’s unfortunate that Jones’ career has been cut short, but when it comes to heart issues things could have been far worse. Best wishes to Josh, and hopefully doctors will be able to rectify the issue once and for all in the coming months.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

USC athletic director Pat Haden to step down in June

Getty Images
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES (AP) University of Southern California athletic director Pat Haden says he will retire on June 30.

USC President Max Nikias made the announcement Friday.

Haden has run the athletic department for 5 1/2 years, leading the Trojans through a multiyear stretch of NCAA sanctions against its vaunted football program. He created a large NCAA compliance program and improved graduation rates and grade point averages across the athletic department.

The former USC quarterback also received criticism for the football program’s relative underachievement and for his handling of coach Steve Sarkisian, who has sued the school over his termination last year.

Nikias says Haden’s department also raised over $400 million during his tenure.

Nikias says Haden will start a one-year job guiding the renovation of the Coliseum after he retires.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Ivy League’s best meet in New Haven

Columbia guard Maodo Lo, right, steals the ball from Northwestern forward Aaron Falzon, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Evanston, Ill.  (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Columbia at Yale, 5:00 p.m.

The two best teams in the Ivy League, with matching 4-0 league records, meet for the first time this season. The Lions were close to suffering their first loss last weekend, but an Alex Rosenberg jumper as time expired gave the Lions the win at reigning champion Harvard. Rosenberg’s one of four players averaging at least 12.2 points per game for Kyle Smith’s team, with senior guard Maodo Lo leading the way at 15.8 per contest.

They’ll face a Yale rotation led offensively by point guard Makai Mason (15.7 ppg, 4.1 apg), and the front court tandem of Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod has been outstanding. The winner get a leg up in the Ivy race, with the rematch scheduled for March 5 in New York City (regular season finale).

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: Central Michigan at Akron, 8:00 p.m.

Two of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference meet at the JAR, as Akron looks to extend its win streak to six straight. The Zips’ balanced offensive attack has been led by forward Isaiah Johnson (12.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg), who currently leads the team in both scoring and rebounding. As for the visiting Chippewas, guards Braylon Rayson and Chris Fowler combine to average 32.7 points per game, with Fowler also responsible for a MAC-best 6.3 assists per contest. CMU’s had some struggles on the defensive glass in league play, ranking 11th in that category, but they’ve done a better job defensively than they did in non-conference play.

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

  • MAAC leader Monmouth is back in action, as they host a Fairfield team led by one of the conference’s best players in senior forward Marcus Gilbert. The Hawks have a deep lineup led by junior guard Justin Robinson, who at this point in time is the likely frontrunner for MAAC Player of the Year honors.
  • Looking to catch Monmouth is Iona, which is a game behind the Hawks at 9-3. A.J. English and the Gaels visit Canisius in a matchup that should not lack for offense. Iona’s more inclined to run, but Canisius doesn’t lack scorers either with guard Malcolm McMillan leading four players averaging double figures.
  • Given the fact that they’re 1-3 in Ivy League play, Harvard’s essentially in the spoiler role unless some chaos breaks out at the top end of the standings. The Crimson can help in that regard with a win at Princeton, with the Tigers (2-1) a game behind Columbia and Yale in the loss column. Princeton’s been the better offensive team this season, thanks in large part to junior forward Henry Caruso who leads the team in both scoring and rebounding.