Calvin Jones 'a good fit' as Moses Brown boys basketball coach

·6 min read
Calvin Jones battles for a loose ball with La Salle teammates and a Classical player during a game in January 2005. Jones went on to play at Johnson & Wales and is now coaching the Moses Brown boys basketball team.
Calvin Jones battles for a loose ball with La Salle teammates and a Classical player during a game in January 2005. Jones went on to play at Johnson & Wales and is now coaching the Moses Brown boys basketball team.

PROVIDENCE — Calvin Jones was ready for the next challenge.

His coaching stint with the Juanita Sanchez girls in the 2010s was a successful one. Moses Brown athletic director AJ Kizekai was well aware. His recruiting pitch started when the Quaker boys found themselves with an opening after reaching the Division III quarterfinals in 2020-21.

“It was in the heart of the city,” Jones said. “I know AJ — he's been talking to me about trying to build a program.

“Our visions matched. I felt like it was a good fit.”

Jones was set to make his latest debut Monday night against Mt. Hope. If his track record is any indication, the Quakers could soon find themselves developing into a tough out against league foes. They haven’t won double-digit games in a single season since current Brown guard Noah Meren was on campus in 2016-17.

Camp ERROL Athletics founder

Jones has a significant basketball background in the city. He’s the founder of Camp ERROL Athletics, a skills academy that coordinates local events and provides individual training for players of all ages. David Duke is the program’s star pupil, with Jones helping his cousin progress from Classical to Providence College to the Brooklyn Nets.

“When I first started working out [players], they were babies — now they’re all into high school,” Jones said. “It was perfect timing.”

Sophomore guard Darius Ajakaiye and junior guard Luke Hruska both have previous experience working with Jones. They helped recruit Jude MacLean off the lacrosse field and onto the court — the senior will give Moses Brown some needed physicality. Peter Buonanno, Catcher Dobron and Christian Chase all saw action in the playoff defeat against Times2 in March.

Calvin Jones' coaching style

“I coach based on personnel,” Jones said. “We have some athletes on our team who can move. I’m not going to hold them back.

“Let them go and become the players they want to be. Just create the platform for it.”

Jones enjoyed his own strong playing career at La Salle and with Johnson & Wales. He’s been a fixture at Friars games in recent seasons, occasionally pacing the open walkway between the student section and the home bench. Moving back to the sidelines will give Jones something of an outlet for his energy.

“I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz music — I'm getting older,” Jones said. “I need to get back to my competitive edge.”

The Cavaliers progressed quickly from Division III champions to open state tournament contenders thanks to players like Davida Dale, Willcia McBorrough, D’Asia Allen and Mariah Rosario. Where does Jones see the ceiling for the Quakers in future seasons? That’s a question for another time.

“Let’s take care of Mt. Hope first on Monday and see where it takes us from there," Jones said. "Our goal is to get better day by day, and then God will take care of where the cards fall.”

The Eagles will be happy to make life difficult for Jones and the rest of the division. The defending champions could be favorites to repeat thanks to talented veterans like Kobe Pena and Jason Peters. They outlasted Blackstone Valley Prep in last season’s final, a 60-54 overtime thriller.

Davies blasted through the regular season undefeated before falling to the Pride in the semifinals. Jean Preira and Antonio Cabral return to help the Patriots make another run toward the top of the standings. West Warwick is up to Division II, creating some extra room for postseason squads like St. Patrick and Prout to climb the ladder.

bkoch@providencejournal.com

On Twitter: @BillKoch25

Division III-A

EXETER-WEST GREENWICH

Last season: 4-5 in Division III-South; lost to No. 6 Prout, 64-57, in the D-III preliminary round

Coach: David DelFino (third season)

Key returners: Mike Mahone (G, senior), Lucas Pennacchia (G, junior)

Look out for: Brady Banner (G, senior), Robert Simoes (G, junior)

HIGHLANDER CHARTER

Last season: 0-9 in III-South

Coach: Mike Willard (second season)

Key returners: Gean Rosado (G, senior), Jeremiah Peralta (G, junior), Ky’Shawn Turner (G, junior)

Look out for: Miftah Ibiyemi (G, junior)

MOSES BROWN

Last season: 5-4 in III-South; lost to No. 2 Times2, 48-45, in D-III quarterfinals

Coach: Calvin Jones (first season)

Key returners: Peter Buonanno (G, junior), Luke Hruska (G, junior), Christian Chase (G, senior)

Look out for: Darius Ajakaiye (G, sophomore)

MT. HOPE

Last season: 3-6 in II-South

Coach: Jeff Grifka (fourth season)

Key returners: Bruce McGuire (F, senior), Parker Camelo (G, junior)

Look out for: Gavin Winn (G, junior)

Division III-B

BLACKSTONE VALLEY PREP

Last season: 5-4 in III-North; lost to No. 2 Times 2, 60-54 (OT), in D-III final

Coach: Kevin Payette (eighth season)

Key returners: Xavier Lara (F, senior), Xavier Coleman (G, junior)

Look out for: Ethan Sou (F, sophomore), Juan Bedoya (C, sophomore)

JUANITA SANCHEZ

Last season: 3-6 in II-North

Coach: Bobby Perry (fifth season)

Key returners: Marcos Miranda (G, junior), Herelton Amado (G, senior)

Look out for: Adam Guilon (G, senior)

MOUNT ST. CHARLES

Last season: 4-5 in III-North; lost to No. 7 Moses Brown, 49-41, in D-III preliminary round

Coach: Henry Coleman (eighth season)

Key returners: Alex Gasbarro (G, senior), Nathan Tessier (G, senior)

Look out for: Cameron Giles (G, junior)

PAUL CUFFEE

Last season: 1-8 in III-Central

Coach: Jerome Allen (third season)

Key returners: Luis Henderson (F, junior), Giovani De Los Santos (G, junior)

Look out for: Brandon Colon (G, junior)

Division III-C

CENTRAL FALLS

Last season: 3-3 in III-North; lost to No. 1 Davies, 71-49, in D-III quarterfinals

Coach: Jeff Doucette (sixth season)

Key returners: Chunn Anderson (G, senior), Jaden Alverado (F, senior)

Look out for: Ian Grace (G, junior)

DAVIES

Last season: 8-0 in III-North; lost to No. 5 Blackstone Valley Prep, 83-59, in D-III semifinals

Coach: Bob Morris (second season)

Key returners: Jean Preira (G, senior), Antonio Cabral (F, senior)

Look out for: Kanz Giwa (F, junior)

SCITUATE

Last season: 4-5 in III-Central; lost to No. 8 Central Falls, 44-32, in D-III preliminary round

Coach: Ralph Apici (11th season)

Key returners: Mike St. Angelo (G, senior), Jared Janiak (G, senior)

Look out for: Peter Catanzaro (F, senior)

ST. PATRICK’S

Last season: 6-3 in III-Central; lost to No. 5 Blackstone Valley Prep, 75-55, in D-III quarterfinals

Coach: Greg Rakovic (sixth season)

Key returners: Ricky Fonseca (G, senior)

Look out for: John Oladipo (G, sophomore), Anderson Bonilla (F, sophomore)

Division III-D

NORTH SMITHFIELD

Last season: 3-5 in III-North

Coach: Brandon DiPaola (eighth season)

Key returners: Cam Reynolds (G, senior), Aidan Bienvenue (G, sophomore)

Look out for: Adam Dubois (C, senior)

PONAGANSET

Last season: 1-8 in III-Central; lost to No. 5 Blackstone Valley Prep, 63-33, in D-III preliminary round

Coach: Dave Campbell (third season)

Key returners: Sal Bianca (G, senior)

Look out for: Aiden Gaipo (F, senior), Jaden Cyr (G, junior)

PROUT

Last season: 5-4 in III-South; lost to No. 3 West Warwick, 66-51, in D-III quarterfinals

Coach: Dean Felicetti (sixth season)

Key returners: Chris Pimental (G, senior), Jared Ledo (G, senior), Dave Figueroa (F, senior)

Look out for: Brennan Mellor (F, senior)

TIMES 2

Last season: 8-1 in III-Central; beat No. 5 Blackstone Valley Prep, 60-54 (OT), in D-III final

Coach: Dwayne Monroe (second season)

Key returners: Kobe Pena (G, junior), Jason Peters (G, senior), Josh Ojuri (F, sophomore)

Look out for: Enrique Mejia (G, junior)

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Calvin Jones believes he's 'a good fit' as Moses Brown's boys basketball coach

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