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STAB Senior Uses Overcoming Illness to Power His Team Forward - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

STAB Senior Uses Overcoming Illness to Power His Team Forward

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From the outside looking in, Saint Anne's-Belfield Basketball stand out Jeff Jones looks like a typical Senior. But the son of former UVA men's basketball head coach, Jeff Jones, start was nowhere near normal.

As a Freshmen, he checked into the UVA Medical Center for an appendectomy.

Jones said, "It turns out that they hadn't taken out my appendix at all and that it was part of my sigmoid colon. They sewed me up on the wrong end."

Two days later he was back in the hospital with abdominal pain and infections.

Senior Tre Briggs said, "there was a possibility...he was pretty close to dying."

His teammate, Javin Montgomery-DeLauier, a freshman on the team said, "we were all praying for Jeff. Hoping that he'd make it through okay. Thankfully he did."

Jones ended up repeating freshman year and didn't step onto the basketball court until he was a sophomore.

Jones said, "I started thinking about the ramifications and everything that was going to happen to me afterwards - like sports - and if I was going to be able to stay at school and everything."

While it would be easy for Jones to get down on himself instead he uses overcoming his illness to power his teammates to the next level."

Jones explained, "I just try not to let the small things get me down."

Briggs added, "he doesn't take anything for granted its more of like now every possession - he just plays like it might be his last day."

As he pushes through his final season at STAB, he hopes to continue his education at UVA, American - where is dad is now - or the University of Vermont.

At this moment, all Jones is focused on is finishing strong.

Jones said, "Being a coaches son, being from a basketball oriented family, I like to think of myself as sort of a coach on the floor and I try not to get to carried away."

Montgomery-DeLauier agreed, "Jeff definitely has the highest basketball I.Q. on the team and that's helpful during practice when he suggests ideas for plays."

Jones's strength to overcome what seemed like the end of the road is something teammates say will echo through the STAB basketball program in years to come.

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