If it all comes together for Shawn Jones, it might be short stroll from where he grew up to his NBA home arena.  

As a member of the NBA Development League Sioux Falls Skyforce, Jones has extra incentive to impress the staff of the Miami Heat through their affiliate relationship for a possible call-up.  Jones grew up in Miami-Dade County.  However more work is needed to be done for Jones and his potential storybook ending.

(Photo credit MT Athletic Communications)

The forward from Hiahleah, Florida which is part of greater Miami landed in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to play at Middle Tennessee State.  Through the four years spent with the Blue Raiders Jones’ career built to a crescendo that culminated with the Conference USA Player of the Year award.

Even though Jones was not selected on Draft day, the L.A. Clippers found a spot for him on their Summer League squad.  Miami was also watching Jones and signed him as a free agent and added the 6-8 post player to the preseason roster.  When comparing the jump from college to the pros, Jones is struck mostly by the increased pace of the game.  To great degree the foundation for his current status was laid in college.  “It took a lot of long nights in the gym and early morning (workouts),” Jones says about his physical journey.

Jones also credits a humble mental approach in college that helped him be a leader.  “I learned to be tough mentally.  (One example is) taking all the blame for things that you didn’t do as well as things that you did do and being that guy that your teammates depend on.”  Jones believes it can help translate to success in the pros.  “I think I have the potential to translate those things (to the pros).  I can be vocal and be a high energy guy by rebounding, blocking shots and defending.”

Already Jones and the rest of the allocated players from Miami have been tasked with helping the coaches learn how the offense will be run with the Skyforce.  “We are on the fast track with the offense, so we are expected to be leaders and help the other guys.  Coach Weber came to us before training camp and told us that we were going to be the main guys to help.  That includes talking to the other players on the sidelines because we’ve been through it for three months. ”

All the hard work and high energy along with more consistent offense might set the sequence in motion for Jones to realize his NBA goals.

The full audio interview from Jones is at the link below.