NICKERSON, Kan. (KAKE) - A high school basketball star from Nickerson, Kansas who was nearly killed when a car crashed into her family two years ago will medically retire from college basketball.

The University of Iowa said that following consultation with team doctors and athletic trainers, Ava Jones, now a sophomore, will "take a medical disqualification and will retire from college basketball."

Jones will keep her scholarship and work toward her degree. 

“We wish Ava the best on the road to recovery and fully support the decision she made to step away from the game,” Iowa women's basketball head coach Jan Jensen said. “She worked tirelessly to get to this point, but she made the best decision for herself and her well-being.”

Ava arrived in Iowa City last June to begin the next chapter of her life, hoping to play basketball again. Former head coach Lisa Bluder said in October 2022 that all four major ligaments in both of Ava's knees were torn and Bluder "doubts she will ever play basketball again."

“I can’t believe she was walking,” Bluder told the university’s Presidential Committee on Athletics in the fall of 2022. “The doctor said, ‘I’ve never seen a person come in here with four torn ligaments in a knee and not be crying.’”

The women's basketball program then decided it would honor Ava's scholarship regardless of her ability to play. 

Louisville, Kentucky police said that on July 5, 2022, days after she committed to Iowa, Ava, 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.

 
 
 
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