Cancer survivor Andrew Jones thanks God after hitting winner for Texas: 'Let's keep it going'

Jason Owens

Saturday’s winning shot for Andrew Jones didn’t just score a victory over a ranked opponent.

It marked the next step for the 23-year-old in his comeback from cancer.

With No. 4 Texas trailing 14th-ranked West Virginia 70-69 with less than 10 seconds remaining, Texas eschewed a timeout, instead opting to attack before West Virginia could set up its defense. Point guard Courtney Ramey dribbled the ball over halfcourt, beat his defender and drove to the basket, drawing the attention of the entire West Virginia defense.

Jones comes through in the clutch

He looked to his right and found Jones open for a corner 3-pointer. Jones caught the pass and immediately hoisted it up for a go-ahead bucket with 1.1 seconds remaining.

The 72-20 margin held as the final score. And the Longhorns showed Jones the love in the postgame locker room.

Jones’ road back from leukemia

Winning a game like that over a ranked opponent will always be cause for a locker room celebration. But considering where Jones was in life three years years ago, this party was extra sweet.

The then-sophomore guard didn’t seem himself on the court after returning from a wrist injury, playing limited minutes and looking winded when he did. The program announced in January 2018 that he was undergoing treatment for leukemia. The NBA hopeful did not play again that season.

But he remarkably returned after an initial round of chemotherapy treatment to play in Texas’ season opener the following November. He played in just two games that season as he continued his treatment on an outpatient basis.

Last season, he returned to play full time, starting 11 games and playing in 31 while averaging 11.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He’s a full-time starter this season, with no apparent lingering health concerns preventing him from taking the court amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through 10 games, Jones is averaging 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists — and coming through in the clutch.

Texas Longhorns guard Andrew Jones (1) celebrates with teammates after making the go-ahead 3-pointer.
Andrew Jones propelled the Longhorns to a victory over No. 14 West Virginia, three years after being diagnosed with leukemia. (Ben Queen/Reuters)

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