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Juwan Jones Headed to Sandhills C.C.

April 25, 2012
Purnell Swett High School

Top Swett hoops player going JUCO route
by Kaleb Roedel
52 mins 33 secs ago | 82 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PEMBROKE — Two years ago, Mike Apple, then-head boys basketball coach at Pinecrest High School, was tasked with designing a defense to slow down Purnell Swett’s Juwan Jones.

“It was a job coaching against Juwan,” Apple said, reminiscing on his time coaching in the Southeastern Conference.

Now, as the head coach at Sandhills Community College, Apple has Jones to help make his job with x’s-and-o’s easier. The Swett senior Jones signed a National Letter of Intent to Sandhills CC on Tuesday in Pembroke.

“I got to come here (to Sandhills) and get on my game and try to go to a university,” Jones said. “It feels pretty good, but it’s just the first step.”

A step that could potentially gives Jones national exposure.

In March, Coach Apple and his staff — which includes associate head coach Bryon Gaddy, a 1994 graduate of Fairmont High School — led Sandhills CC to a 30-6 record and the 2011-12 NJCAA national championship with a win over Cedar Valley CC of Lancaster, Tex. Jones, a push-the-pace guard with a lightning first step who can score in bunches, joins a Flyers team that averaged a nation-best 94.6 points per game.

“We play very uptempo and I think Juwan’s skills lend itself very well to the way we try to play here at Sandhills,” Apple said. “I think it’s going to a great fit for us and we’re really excited about it. He’s a fine player. He’s explosive, he’s strong, he’s quick.”

Jones, The Robesonian’s Offensive Player of the Year, showcased those tools this past winter, leading the Rams in scoring at 17.8 points a night, highlighted by a 37-point outburst on the road against league champion Hoke County.

Not to mention, the havoc Jones wreaked on the defensive end for Jeremy Sampson’s Rams. Jones is the first college recruit under Sampson’s watch.

“He loves to play defense, that’s his best attribute to me,” the two-year coach Sampson said. “In high school we used him as a scorer, but I think at the next level he can be a good defender, a good ball distributor, and that’s where he’ll be at his best.”

Jones sees himself in a similar role as a freshman next fall.

“I don’t really need to score because they’ll have scorers,” he said. “I’ll just pass the ball, get my teammates involved … I believe in my game. I know I can play with anybody. I’m ready.”

Read more: The Robesonian - Top Swett hoops player going JUCO route

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