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Iowa Women's Basketball announces Ava Jones will medically retire

On3 imageby:Kyle Huesmann06/07/24


The Iowa Women’s Basketball team delivered some tough news on Friday morning, announcing that former top 100 recruit Ava Jones will take a medical disqualification and retire from college basketball. Jones will remain on scholarship and continue to work toward her degree at the University of Iowa.

“We wish Ava the best on the road to recovery and fully support the decision she made to step away from the game,” Head Coach Jan Jensen said. “She worked tirelessly to get to this point, but she made the best decision for herself and her well-being.” 

Statement from Ava Jones

I would like to start by saying how grateful I am to have been a part of the Iowa Women’s Basketball program. I am extremely blessed to have been a part of the journey last season.

It is will great sadness to announce that I am medicially retiring from college basketball. My coaches, doctors, teammates, and trainers have been amazing since the accident. While I will no longer be a member of the women’s basketball program, I will still be on scholarship, receive a world class education and forever be a Hawkeye.

I’d like to thank my family for the never-ending support and I am excited for the next chapter of my life.

A member of the class of 2023, Ava Jones initially committed to play basketball at Arizona State University, but decommitted after longtime head coach Charli Turner Thorne retired. Jones reopened her recruitment and eventually committed to the University of Iowa over Kansas and Oregon State. She was rated as a four-star, #83 player in the country by ESPN.

“It is amazing that so many people support the Hawkeyes, not just in women’s basketball, but in every sport. (It’s) something very few schools have,” said Jones at the time over her commitment.

As a junior at Nickerson High School, Ava was named 3A First Team All-State, as well as 3A Co-Player of the Year. She averaged 20.8 points, 15.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, while helping the Panthers to a 23-3 record and a fourth-place state finish. Ava was also named Second Team All-State for her efforts on the court as a volleyball player and won a 4A state title in high jump.

Just days after her commitment, Ava and her family were in Louisville for the Run for the Roses Tournament with AAU program Wheat State Elite. While walking down the sidewalk in downtown Louisville, the family was hit by an impaired driver that ran a red light and went speeding onto the sidewalk. It left Ava and her mother Amy in critical condition at the UofL Hospital, while her father Trey tragically passed away a few days after the accident. Both Ava and her mother spent a week on ventilators in a medically induced coma.

Jones suffered a fractured spine and a traumatic brain injury, while she also received multiple surgeries to repair torn ligaments in both knees, a broken collarbone and eye surgery to tighten tendons to fix double vision issues.

Ava took a medical redshirt as a freshman during the 2023-24 season, with the hope that she could at some point return to the court. She did not travel with the team during away trips, but was seen sitting behind the Iowa bench at every single home game.

Although Jones will stay on scholarship at Iowa, the scholarship will no longer count against the Hawkeyes 15 scholarships going forward.

Junior year highlights of Ava Jones at Nickerson High School

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