Battling the toughest opponent of his life, Texas guard Andrew Jones sounded upbeat and motivated late Tuesday in his first interview since being diagnosed with leukemia in early January.
Asked specifically about his recent Twitter video of dancing and brushing his teeth, Jones said, “I was feeling good.
“There’s been a lot of days in the month of January where I just didn’t feel good, couldn’t move and stuff like that,” Jones said. “But as soon as I started feeling better about myself, I was just in a great place. And I’ve been in a great place lately these last couple of weeks.
“I just wanted to show that I’m not just in the hospital doing bad. I wanted to show people the improvements I’ve been making and that everything’s going to be good, and I’m going to be back soon.”
— Andrew Jones (@DrewdotCash) February 13, 2018
Jones spoke to the Lonestar Sports Network and hosts Alan Branch and Royce Johnson, two longtime Dallas-area basketball coaches. The 20-year-old is currently undergoing treatment at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
“I wanted to let people know that certain things may set you back if you have cancer,” Jones said. “If you tore your ACL or something like that, you can find the joy in something you’re doing. You can try to stay motivated and pursue the things you love to do.”
Jones said he didn’t feel right as early as the PK80 tournament in Oregon to start the season. When he returned from Christmas break, UT trainers noticed something was off. Jones had a hard time getting up and down the floor during practice. He was admitted for tests and the school announced his diagnosis on Jan. 10.
“When everything started to fall out, just a simple breath that you can take every morning, being able to yawn, you know, move and simple things like being able brushing your teeth on your own, you take little stuff like that for granted,” Jones said. “But at any instance, you never know when you might not be able to do that again.
“That’s one thing I realize and really appreciate in going through the process I’m going through,” he said. “The simple things like being able to change your clothes, brush your teeth in the morning, those things that we learn early in life you think come second nature. But you become able to appreciate it once you can’t do those things on your own.”
Jones doesn’t sound like someone ready to give up on basketball.
“I’m going to have a more motivated mindset,” he said. “I’m going to be more dedicated. I’m just going to be grateful that I can get back to playing the sport that I love. And I’m going to go hard every day. Tomorrow is never promised, so that’s how I’m going to attack each day, each workout that I go to.”
Asked what he would say to anyone listening, Jones said, “I would just like to thank everybody for their support and love and caring for me while I go through this situation.”
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Hear the entire interview with Texas guard Andrew Jones right here:
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