AUSTIN — "Cancer has always been my biggest fear,” said Texas junior guard Andrew Jones.
2018 didn’t begin as planned for the Texas basketball star. He was sidelined due to a wrist injury last December.
“When I broke my wrist, I go hard on the workouts. I felt it hard to catch my wind,” said Jones. “I didn’t have the energy to hang out with anyone.”
Jones was later diagnosed with leukemia and temporarily moved to Houston, where he was treated at M.D. Anderson.
“The first two months I was closed off from the world. Once I was able to move around and be on my phone ... people are fighting for me,” said Jones.
Basketball teams from across the country honored him and wish Jones well. In fact, UT’s Big 12 rivals wore replica Andrew Jones jerseys during pregame before playing UT.
“It was surreal to me. I didn’t realize it has drawn this much attention,” said Jones.
Andrew completed his rigorous treatments for Leukemia, but will return in December to M.D. Anderson for maintenance/temporary treatments.
“In December, we have preplanned treatment,” he said.
As for returning to the basketball court as a Longhorn in a game, there’s no timetable currently, but he has been working and actually dunked a basketball again.
Jones didn’t anticipate this quick of a recovery.
“I remember I knew I would be on a two-year program without basketball," he said. "The doctor told me, 'No, I’m going to have you well and ready in a year.'”
As Andrew continues to regain his strength and get back into playing shape, he told his Texas teammates and friends around college basketball to get their shots in now. Jones plans on returning stronger than before his leukemia diagnosis.
He's an incredibly strong-minded young man with an inspiring story and message to everyone.
“Only the strong survive," he said. "It’s a choice whether you want to go on and fight adversity. Through the grace of God, anything is possible."