Five Things to Know: TRE JONES
Just one day after being named Minnesota Mr. Basketball, USAB.com caught up with Tre Jones (Apple Valley H.S./Apple Valley, Minn.) on his selection to the 2018 USA Basketball Junior National Select Team.
A 6-foot-2 guard inked to Duke, Jones is expected to lead the USA at point guard against the World Select Team in the 21st annual Nike Hoop Summit on Friday, April 13, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
There Is No Shadow
Whenever Jones is asked about his own skillset, there is the inevitable follow-up question – ‘How does your game compare to your brother’s?’ That brother is Tyus Jones, a three-time USA Basketball gold medalist, 2014 Nike Hoop Summit alum, 2015 NCAA champion at Duke and current point guard for his hometown Minnesota Timberwolves.
We put it all in one sentence, because this isn’t about Tyus – this is about Tre. This speaks more to Tre’s character than anything, though. He accepts the comparisons and questions about his brother in the NBA because Tyus is his greatest influence.
“I just admire him for the person he is,” Jones said. “He’s really humble. He thinks about others before himself. He’s just a really good guy and an extremely hard worker. That’s what has gotten him to everything he’s achieved in life. Those things are what stood out to me and are what made me want to be like him.”
The Brotherhood 😈🔵⚪️ pic.twitter.com/9sVu1Egm7g
— Tre Jones (@trejones03) August 13, 2017
Minnesota Mr. Basketball
Jones wasn’t actually in attendance to accept his Mr. Basketball award – one that Tyus also won back in 2014 – but the eldest brother, Jadee, accepted it on Tre’s behalf.
Jones was too busy getting buckets elsewhere, a continuation of what he did all season for Apple Valley High School.
He averaged a solid 22.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists his senior campaign for 27-5 Apple Valley, leading his team to a third state championship game appearance in his five seasons. That’s no typo – Jones played in 20 games for Apple Valley as an eighth grader, alongside his brother, of course.
“This award means a lot to me,” he said. “When I saw Tyus win that growing up, it was another dream of mine to win Mr. Basketball my senior year. I knew I’d have to put in a lot of work like he did to win it. Just like any other award I’ve won, I like to think it’s because of all of the hard work I’ve put in.”
A heartbreaking loss on a buzzer-beating dunk concluded Jones’ high school career at Apple Valley, but his name will be etched in the history books. He finished with a pair of state titles (2015, 2017) and a cumulative record of 143-13.
A Family Affair
Jones, who signed his National Letter of Intent to Duke in August 2017, says he plans to study kinesiology while in Durham, North Carolina. Who’s influenced that? Jadee.
“My oldest brother works us out and knows a lot about the body, because he studied kinesiology in college. That stuff really interests me, too” he said.
A former hooper at Furman University and Mankato State University, Jadee is on the coaching staff at Apple Valley and is often Tre’s trainer in the gym.
“In the offseason, I’m in the gym or the weight room with him every single day. He’s done everything he can to help both Tyus and I, either in the weight room or the gym with everything he knows. With what he’s studied, it makes it easier for us to do some basketball-specific stuff.”
And, mom is a huge influence, too.
“Ever since I was a young kid, there have been so many dreams for me with basketball, and she’s done everything she can to put me in the right positions to succeed.”
And we on to the next!! Keep writing your story! https://t.co/Bk3ezNW2q7
— Tyus Jones (@1Tyus) March 25, 2018
Some poor injury luck held Jones out of the 2016 U17 World Cup Team training camp, which was unfortunate for a young man that stood out, while playing up, for the 2015 USA U16 National Team.
“I remember going into that training camp (U16), and I was one of the last kids invited to the tryout,” Jones said. “I went in and I earned a spot on the team. That was a chance to compete with all the guys – Gary Trent Jr., Kevin Knox II, Markus Howard, Wendell Carter Jr.
We had a lot of really talented guys, and a really close team that year. It was a lot of fun just to be there and compete with them.”
At the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship Bahia Blanca, Argentina, Jones helped the USA to the gold medal and a 5-0 record, averaging 4.6 ppg., 6.2 rpg. and team-highs of 3.6 apg and 3.8 spg.
His 19 steals in the 2015 competition places him atop the USA’s all-time steals leaderboard at the U16 level.
Back In Red, White and Blue
Although Jones has competed in a pair of Junior National Team October Minicamps since 2015, his extended time out of the USA jersey makes his Nike Hoop Summit selection all the more rewarding.
“For me, it means a lot to me to be on this Nike Hoop Summit team. You work really hard to be selected for things like this. It’s a dream come true for myself. Growing up, I watched this game every year around this time, so to be nominated to represent the USA in this game – it means so much. You realize you’re playing for more than just yourself. You’re playing for those three letters.”
The 2018 Nike Hoop Summit will be played at 7 p.m. PDT on Friday, April 13, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available at bit.ly/nikehoopsummit2018.