NICKERSON, Kan. (KAKE)- Nickerson High School basketball star Ava Jones signed her national letter of intent Wednesday to play basketball for the University of Iowa.

The signing was held at Nickerson High School Wednesday, giving Ava's family, friends and classmates a chance to celebrate her accomplishment.

"Thank you for everything you have done for me," said Ava Jones, moments after signing her letter, addressed to those who have followed her journey from the very beginning.

Louisville, Kentucky police told KAKE News back on July 5 that Jones, along with her mother Amy, brother Creek and father Trey Jones were hit by a driver under the influence. The crash killed Trey Jones, and left Ava and Amy in critical condition. Over the past four months, both mother and daughter have been hard at work on the road towards healing, with doctors telling Ava they were unsure if she would ever play basketball again.

"Before the accident happened, I thought about [this signing] a lot," said Ava Jones. "But now after the accident it's just so real."

KAKE News also got the chance to speak with Amy Jones Wednesday, who said her daughter's perseverance has kept her strong. "I'm so proud of her," said Amy Jones. "Though I wouldn't expect anything else...Before like she couldn't even use her right arm at all to do anything. Now she's making shots."

Amy Jones told KAKE News that her daughter obviously has a long way to go, but that what she's accomplished so far is a very great start.

The University of Iowa had already committed to offering Ava a full-ride regardless of whether or not she could play for the basketball team, but the team took upon themselves to also make the announcement official in a Twitter post Wednesday.

"We already know this one is a fighter," the post from the Iowa Women's Basketball team read. "We're so grateful to officially call Ava Jones a Hawkeye!"

Ava told KAKE News earlier this week that her recovery is far from over with multiple surgeries expected before she can play basketball for the team in any capacity. Regardless, she said she'll be cheering her team on, and helping out in any capacity that she's capable of.

KAKE News also asked Ava if she had any advice to share with potential girls that look up to her.

"Just keep pushing," said Ava Jones. "Whenever it does get hard."

 
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