Ava Jones’ basketball career is almost certainly over.
Jones, the Iowa recruit who survived a car crash with her family in Louisville earlier this summer, tore all four ligaments in both of her knees, Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said Thursday, via The Cedar Rapids Gazette.
“We all had a tough day yesterday,” Bluder said, via The Gazette. “I doubt she will ever play basketball again.”
Jones, her younger brother and their two parents were hit by a car on July 5 while they were walking in downtown Louisville, where they were for an AAU tournament. A car left the road and struck them on the sidewalk, killing Jones’ dad, Trey, and leaving her mom, Amy, in serious condition. Her brother sustained minor injuries.
The driver of the car, a 33-year-old man, reportedly told police that he took hydrocodone before driving that night and that he was “so tired that he could not make the turn.”
Jones was considered “serious but stable” at the time. Now, Bluder learned, she had torn all four ligaments in each of her knees.
“I can’t believe she was walking,” Bluder said, via The Gazette. “The doctor said, ‘I’ve never seen a person come in here with four torn ligaments in a knee and not be crying.’”
Jones had initially decommitted from Arizona State and committed to the Hawkeyes days before the incident. She averaged 20.8 points and 15.4 rebounds per game last season at Nickerson High School in Kansas, and was listed as ESPN's No. 83 recruit in the class of 2023.
Though she still has a long recovery ahead of her, Iowa has committed to honoring her initial scholarship regardless of whether she ever suits up for the Hawkeyes.
“She’s still somebody that we are going to have as a part of our program because we believe in her,” Bluder said, via The Gazette. “She committed to us, and just because she had something bad happen to her doesn't mean that we turn our back on her. We’ll be there for her and her family as much as we can.”