NCFL basketball player wins FIBA Americas U16 Championship

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:59 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A North Central Florida basketball player is wearing a gold medal with pride after winning first place in the FIBA Americas under 16 tournament. At 15 years old, RJ Jones was the youngest of 12 players selected to represent and play for the United States team.

After training in Houston for two weeks, the tournament took place in Mexico where the team was up against seven other teams from Canada to South America. They ultimately took home first place and a gold medal.

Jones said he started playing basketball in 1st grade and has been playing at The Rock School since 4th grade. After being recognized at school for his accomplishment, Jones added that it’s surreal playing with some of the best players.

“Keep God first and work hard no matter what because if you’re trying to get to the next level or anything you have to work hard,” said RJ.

His father, Ryan Jones, is the Director of Care for the RJ’s basketball team. He said it’s a great feeling to watch his son follow his dreams at a young age.

“I mean when you’re a father and you’re a coach sometimes that coach goes out the window, especially when your son is doing things the right way and doing it well,” said Ryan. “It’s just amazing.”

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RJ said he’s looking forward to the start of the Rock School’s basketball season in November and is training for the Worlds under 17 tournament set to take place next year.

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