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Iowa commit Ava Jones' basketball future uncertain after ligament tears from July crash
Iowa women’s basketball program plans to ‘be there for (Jones) and her family as much as we can’
IOWA CITY — Lisa Bluder received a call Wednesday that no coach would want to receive.
“We all had a tough day yesterday,” the Iowa women’s basketball coach said.
Ava Jones, the Iowa commit who survived a crash in July in Louisville, had MRI scans that shed more light on the seriousness of her injuries.
“I doubt she will ever play basketball again,” Bluder said.
Her mother Amy told WDRB-TV in Louisville that Ava still hopes to eventually return to the court, though. Jones’ orthopedic surgeon has not ruled out a return to basketball, per the Hutchinson (Kan.) News.
All four ligaments in her left knee are torn, and three of four are torn in her right knee, according to the Hutchinson News.
“I can’t believe she was walking,” Bluder told the university’s Presidential Committee on Athletics on Thursday. “The doctor said, ‘I’ve never seen a person come in here with four torn ligaments in a knee and not be crying.’”
The crash happened July 5. Jones and her family were on a sidewalk in Louisville when a 33-year-old man who admitted to taking hydrocodone before driving hit them, according to reports.
Her father Trey did not survive the accident, and her mother Amy suffered serious injuries. Her brother had minor injuries.
Doctors still are “really working on her brain improvement,” Bluder said.
Jones is expected to need at least three surgeries, according to WDRB-TV.
The women’s basketball program already has committed to honoring her scholarship, regardless of whether she’s able to play basketball again.
“She’s still somebody that we are going to have as a part of our program because we believe in her,” Bluder said. “She committed to us, and just because she had something bad happen to her doesn’t mean that we turn our back on her. We’ll be there for her and her family as much as we can.”
A GoFundMe page raised more than $150,000 for the family, with many of the donations coming from Iowa fans.
“The Hawkeye nation has been amazing helping that family,” Bluder said. “So it’s very appreciated.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated Jones tore all four ligaments in both knees instead of four ligaments in one knee and three in the other.