Andrew Jones received a standing ovation Tuesday as he made his return to the court in Texas’ 71-59 season-opening win over Eastern Illinois.
The junior guard had battled leukemia and suffered a broken toe in practice last month, but overcame the odds against him after there were doubts he would even play this season.
“First of all, when he checked in, I guess it just hit me and probably hit a lot of people in the building that this guy was laying in the hospital bed a matter of months ago,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said, via the Austin American-Statesman. “Now, he’s out there in a Texas uniform.”
Jones first checked in with 11 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the second half to a roaring crowd. He finished with one point, one rebound and one assist in nine minutes of action.
“It felt good just having his presence,” guard Matt Coleman III said. “You could see the fans, they really care about him.”
Texas guard Andrew Jones fractures toe in practice
Texas G Andrew Jones progressing in leukemia recovery
Added Coleman: “He handled it very humbly. Andrew wants to be treated like he’s one of us.”
The Longhorns are next slated to host Arkansas at 7 p.m. ET Friday.
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