Nickerson star Ava Jones returns to court

Nickerson High School basketball standout Ava Jones returned to the court more than four months...
Nickerson High School basketball standout Ava Jones returned to the court more than four months after suffering severe injuries when a reportedly impaired driver ran his vehicle into her, her parents and her younger brother.(Ava Jones)
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 11:23 PM CST
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NICKERSON, Kan. (KWCH) - A Kansas high school basketball standout severely injured in a crash in early July is back to work on the court.

University of Iowa commit Ava Jones, her parents and her little brother were in Louisville, Kentucky for Ava’s basketball tournament. While walking on the sidewalk, a car hit them. Police said the driver was impaired.

Monday, 12 News spoke with Jones and her trainer as the young athlete is determined to play at the next level despite the many challenges ahead.

“We got into the gym on Saturday and she picked up the basketball and she started shooting,” Jones’s trainer, Craig Nicholson said. “Like, the fact that she was able to keep the ball straight and she is starting to get that muscle memory back, I was like, ‘okay, Ava is going to get back to our old Ava self.’ It’s just a matter of when she can rehab and be fully 100% again.”

Jones said getting back onto the court with Nicholson “made [her] feel more normal.”

Her recovery ahead includes some surgeries to both knees and a shoulder.

This week, Jones will sign her letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Iowa. Though she’ll have to be patient in continuing to make gradual progress, Jones said she’s motivated and determined to return to the court and play in a Hawkeye uniform.

“I cannot wait to go to Iowa and be around all of the players there and the coaching staff,” she said.

Nicholson said the road to recovery will be long but he believes Jones will make her return to the court.

“If anybody knows Ava, they know she’s a competitor and she’s going to compete and whatever she sets her mind to, she’s going to do,” he said.