The 2019-20 college basketball season has an early frontrunner for the story of the year.
University of Texas redshirt sophomore Andrew Jones played in the Longhorns’ season opener Tuesday night Northern Colorado, and had a career night, two years after being diagnosed with leukemia.
Jones wrapped up his cancer treatments in September, according to the Associated Press, and scored a career-high 20 points in 29 minutes, leading his team to a 69-45 victory.
It's been 673 days since Andrew Jones' last field goal in a game.— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) November 6, 2019
It's good to see him back. pic.twitter.com/GTJZLJJj4l
Jones’ previous career-best game came nearly two years ago against VCU, when he scored 19 points. At the time, the then-freshman was leading Texas with 15.3 points per game and shooting 43.2 percent from behind the arc.
But about a month after that game, in January 2018, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Jones underwent eight months of chemotherapy at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and returned to the court in November of that year for two brief appearances while still undergoing treatment.
Jones entered the game at the 13:50 mark Tuesday night and didn’t look back; his performance included making 4-of-5 made 3-point attempts in the second half.
"I'm happy for Andrew,'' Texas head coach Shaka Smart said, according to to the AP. "I'm happy for his family. Sometimes in life, when you are dealt a tough hand, it's really about how you respond. He was the best offensive player on the floor. He played with great energy. He played with an aggressive, confident and loose mindset.''
Jones was at a loss for words after the game: “I can’t even explain the feeling,” he said.
🎥 Andrew Jones on posting 20 points in his first game back with significant time. pic.twitter.com/y6NOj656jE— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) November 6, 2019
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