|Bad news for Fishburne, good news for UVa. basketball: Star point guard Teven Jones is enrolling at the University of Virginia this week and will join the UVa. basketball program as a redshirt freshman.
“I really want to thank everybody here at Fishburne for the opportunities that I’ve been given. This is a big day for me. Everybody dreams of going to college, and now that day is here for me,” said Jones, a postgraduate student from Kannapolis, N.C., who signed a letter of intent with UVa. in November.
FMS postgrad coach Ed Huckaby initiated the move after news broke over the holidays that the 16th-ranked Cavaliers were losing a pair of second-year players, guard KT Harrell and center James Johnson, both of whom decided to transfer at the end of the first semester of the 2011-2012 school year.
“We talked about what we could do to help UVa. and what we could do to help Teven in the long run. If I’m being selfish, Teven is my best player, so I definitely don’t want to lose him,” Huckaby said.
“This is a win-win for Fishburne and for Teven,” Huckaby said. “This is a great opportunity for Teven and his family for him to get his college career started a little early. And for Fishburne, this is what we do, help guys move on to the next level.”
Jones averaged 21 points per game as a high-school senior, but at Fishburne he was tasked by Huckaby with becoming more of a traditional point guard.
“I’ve learned so much here from Coach Huckaby. I noticed that when I was home over the break watching my high-school team play. I was coaching them on things that I’d learned from Coach,” Jones said.
Huckaby, a former college point guard, expects his point guards to be his leaders.
“You could see that with Teven this year. The team ran so much more smoothly with him out there. He really grew into that role for us,” Huckaby said.
“The way Coach does things, everything runs through the point guard. My teammates always looked to me to lead them. I took that responsibility very seriously,” Jones said.
The most valuable lesson: “Coach is big on being perfect,” Jones said. “I never really studied basketball before, but Coach is big on studying the craft. I’m studying the position of point guard now, and now I know what I need to do to get better.”
Joining the UVa. program in midseason will only accelerate the learning process for Jones.
“I’ve played with Jontel (Evans, the starting UVa. point guard), and he’s fast. He’s the fastest player in college basketball,” Jones said. “Going up against him every day in practice will make me better.”
“Working out with the team, lifting, getting into the academic side of things, all of that will help. And yeah, going up against Jontel every day will be a big help,” said Huckaby, who coached Evans in high school.
Jones conceded the day is a bittersweet one for him.
“I’ll miss my teammates here. We were talking about this last night. We’re brothers now. So this is tough. I feel like we have some unfinished business, but I know that they’re going to do well. But we’ll always have this lifelong bond,” Jones said.
“This is a proud day for us to see Teven taking this step,” Huckaby said. “He’s stepped up his game in so many facets, and I’m not just talking about basketball. He was already solid academically, but he really worked to build a foundation in terms of academics to be able to do well in the challenging environment that the University of Virginia will present him. He’s a solid basketball player, but he’s an even better young man. We’ll miss him.”