Lisa Bluder Declares ‘No Way We’re Giving Up’ On Ava Jones
Wednesday was National Signing Day across college basketball. It also marked a special day for Iowa commit Ava Jones. A day that many thought might not happen.
As the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports, Ava Jones verbally committed to Iowa back on July 3rd. Then, just two days later while at an AAU tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, Jones and her family were hit by an impaired driver while standing on a sidewalk. Ava and her mom Amy spent weeks in a local hospital. Ava's dad Trey did not survive the accident. Jones won't play her senior year of high school and will also miss the 2023-24 season at Iowa as she is facing multiple surgeries on both of her knees.
So yesterday, Iowa honored Jone's scholarship and officially made her an Iowa Hawkeye. The Gazette reports that Hawkeye head coach Lisa Bluder stated "There is no way we're giving up on a kid who supported us...It's not just basketball. It's about integrity."
Bluder was asked if other college coaches would do the same, and honor the scholarship. Bluder stated, "I hope the majority would do the same." Iowa isn't giving up on Ava Jones. And Jones isn't giving up on basketball. KAKE news reports that Jones has begun shooting drills again and was seen back at her high school working with her trainer. She is also undergoing physical, occupational, and speech therapy on her road to recovery.
Iowa coach Lisa Bluder made it very clear yesterday that they expect Jones to play at Iowa. The Gazette reports that Bluder stated "When" she takes the floor. Not "if."