Lille Metropole Basket, France
What do you miss most about Miami basketball?
I mostly miss going to battle with my brothers night in and night out. Being around such a great group of guys for four years was one of the best experiences of my life. We created memories on the court as well as off the court.
Who do you still keep in contact with from The U?
Well I married a fellow Hurricane (Allison Mathis Jones) so The U is fully represented in the Jones household. I still keep in contact with mostly everyone I went to school with. It's fairly easy to do considering social media. We also have a team group chat that keeps me up at night laughing hysterically.
How has your life changed since going pro?
My life has changed drastically since going pro! I've been fortunate enough to travel and play in so many countries (Japan, Italy, and now France). I've grown as a person because I've been able to immerse myself in so many different cultures, taking from each the good aspects. Basketball has also taught me how alike we as people are. This is why I started the JetJones Foundation. It is my goal to bring people together and inspire others to take flight toward a brighter future.
What was the first thing you bought after receiving your first paycheck?
I bought a tombstone for my aunt, who lost her battle with breast cancer. Unfortunately, my family wasn't able to afford a nice tombstone at the time, so with my first paycheck, I bought her one that reflected the great legacy she left behind.
What is your pregame meal like?
I mostly try to stick with lots of lean meat and vegetables. I can't say every pregame meal is the same, but I do try to cover all of the bases as far as nutrition.
Are there any veterans that have helped you along the way?
Too many to count! Dwayne Collins, James Dews and Lance Hurdle showed me the ropes my first day on campus. I remember sitting in the cafeteria and trying to memorize the long do's and don'ts list that they laid out for me. Professionally, Jameer Nelson, Al Harrington and Aaron Affalo really gave me the tools to transition to the league. They instilled a work ethic and professionalism that I've taken with me to every organization I've played for. Having good vets shortens that initial learning curve and makes the transition a lot smoother.
What is the difference between overseas ball and ACC basketball?
The speed of the game and the physicality. Everyone at the professional level is somewhat on the same level as far as athleticism is concerned, so teams heavily rely on tactics and schemes.
What is the adjustment like living in another country?
The adjustment is what you make it. If you have a hard time adapting to different environments, then you will struggle. The adjustment was not too difficult for me because I came in with an open mind. I do see and recognize the cultural differences but there are equal trade offs. For example Europeans place a big emphasis on being social. So lunch breaks are two to three hours each day, as opposed to America where you're constantly eating on the go. Europeans look at the dining experience as a privilege to socialize not just to consume food.
What are some things that Coach L taught you that have helped you in your professional career?
Coach L taught me to trust in my abilities and to always keep the end in mind. I also picked up a crazy ability to memorize random quotes lol.
What did your time at Miami teach you?
My time at Miami taught me how to persevere and fight through adversity.