Lamont Jones Granted Hardship Waiver
NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College men's basketball has learned junior guard Lamont "Momo" Jones has been granted a hardship waiver and will be eligible to compete for the Gaels in the 2011-12 campaign. Jones transferred back to his native New York after spending the last two seasons at the University of Arizona. He will have two years of eligibility at Iona.
"I'd like to thank the tireless work of many people at Iona including my staff and our compliance administrators for their assistance in preparing the waiver," said second-year head coach Tim Cluess. "The NCAA is also to be commended for its due diligence in the decision making process to allow Momo to play."
Jones transferred from Arizona to be nearer to his Harlem, NY home, his family and his ailing grandmother.
"Family comes first," said Jones. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to play at Iona this year with some tremendous players that I've known for a while. But in the end, I'm happy to be home and happy to be able to help my family through this tough time. I'm grateful to the NCAA for granting the waiver which allows me to be nearer to my family and to be able to complete my degree in two years instead of three."
Jones helped lead the Wildcats to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Championship last March, averaging 9.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists while starting all 38 games for Arizona. He tallied 17 games with 10 or more points including a season-high 27 in a thrilling triple-overtime win at California on Feb. 5. Jones also torched No. 1 seed Duke for 16 points in the Wildcats' Sweet 16 win in the NCAA Tournament on Mar. 24. He appeared in 30 games as a freshman, averaging 6.6 points in 18.8 minutes and became an integral part of the Arizona rotation during the second half of the season. Over his last 10 games, his scoring averaged improved to 9.3 ppg with five double-digit scoring efforts.
Jones was ranked as the No. 68 overall prospect in the country and the No. 11 point guard by rivals.com to go with a scout grade of 88 by ESPN. He averaged 21.3 points and 8.0 assists per game as a senior in leading Oak Hill Academy to a 41-1 record for coach Steve Smith. He helped lead Oak Hill to a national runner-up standing at the National High School Invitational and a No. 2 ranking in the final USA Today prep top-25 poll. Jones was named to the inaugural ESPN RISE all-tournament team and earned MVP honors of the Iolani Classic in Hawaii after pouring in 40 points in the double OT championship game win. He was also a 2009 Jordan Brand All-American and a McDonald's High School All-America nominee. Prior to Oak Hill, Jones averaged 25.4 points and 3.0 assists per game as a junior at American Christian School in Aston, PA. He also attended Rice High School in New York City's CSHAA as a freshman and sophomore.
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