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Ava Jones retiring from basketball

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By Brad Hallier

Ava Jones, a former Nickerson High School basketball standout, has announced she is retiring from basketball.

Jones, who received a basketball scholarship to the University of Iowa, made the announcement on Friday morning through the women’s basketball program.

Officially, according to the press release, Jones will take a medical disqualification.

After leading Nickerson to the 2022 Class 3A state semifinals her junior year, Jones committed to play at Iowa. Two days later, while playing in a tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, Jones was hit by an impaired driver while with her family downtown. She suffered many injuries, including to both knees, to her brain and a broken collarbone. Her father, Trey, was killed in the accident.

Jones underwent many surgeries, including one earlier this year where she expressed hope it would be her final accident-related surgery.

The retirement comes after consulting with team doctors and athletic trainers, according to the press release.

“We wish Ava the best on the road to recovery and fully support the decision she made to step away from the game,” Iowa coach Jan Jensen said. “She worked tirelessly to get to this point, but she made the best decision for herself and her well-being.”

Jones’ story and recovery have been well-covered by media across the nation, including ESPN.

“It is with great sadness to announce that I am medically retiring from college basketball,” Jones said in a press release. “My coaches, doctors, teammates and trainers have been amazing since the accident. … I’d like to thank my family for the never-ending support and I am excited for the next chapter of my life.”