August 25, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – John A. Logan College men’s basketball coach Kyle Smithpeters added yet more depth to the guard position last week with the signing of freshman Al Jones.

The Hillcrest High School graduate of Chicago is the younger brother of JALC standout, Lazeric Jones (2010), who went on to a solid two-year career at UCLA and is now a professional player.

“Al is a nice piece to add to the mix,” Smithpeters said. “He shoots the basketball very well, both from long range and from the free-throw line and can handle the ball. He has some big shoes to fill, whether he wants to or not, but I told him to be his own person. He is Al, not Zeke.”

Smithpeters said Jones (6-foot) is not quite as big as his older brother was when he came to Logan, but maybe a little more polished.

“There are certainly some similarities in their game,” Smithpeters said. “I think the biggest similarity is that they are both great kids. While we already had a lot of talent at the guard spot, I think that anytime you can add a quality player like Al, you do it. I have high expectations for him.”

Jones said he is excited about playing at Logan.

“My brother liked playing here, so I wanted to see what it was like, too. I like what I have seen so far,” he said.

Jones described himself as a “combo” guard, one who can handle the ball at the point of the attack or sit on the wing and shoot. He admitted the competition will be fierce for playing time this fall.

“I’ve been faced with challenges all my life, though, so I know what it takes to work my way up. I think I’m up to the challenge.”

Jones said his brother has helped prepare him for the collegiate game.

“He’s definitely been an inspiration to me and has taught me a lot.”

Jones said he plans to pursue a businesss major.