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Andrew Jones set to take the court after leukemia battle

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Photo: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

It has been ten months since Texas junior guard Andrew Jones was diagnosed with leukemia and seemingly derailed his basketball dreams.  But as the Longhorns get set for the season opener next Tuesday against Eastern Illinois, Jones will be back on the court 100% healthy and ready to contribute to the 2018 campaign.

Texas basketball held his first presser since Jones has been back on campus as he answered questions relating to his diagnosis, journey, and recovery for the first time since news broke last January.

As Jones was in the midst of a very promising sophomore season, he began to find differences in his body and mobility leading up to the diagnosis.

“”When we were doing conditioning, I found it harder to catch my wind and I was having to exert more energy than usual,” Jones said. “When we would do down-and-backs, I felt like I was tired, I felt like I was moving slowly.”

After finding out about his leukemia diagnosis, Jones’ sophomore season was cut short as he was immediately thrown into a fight for his life while doing treatments at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston.

“The low point for me was not being around basketball and seeing a dramatic change in my body,” Jones said.

His fight did not go unnoticed as fans and players from around the country and in the NBA reached out to him during his fight.

“It was surreal to me, I didn’t realize it would draw this much attention,” Jones said. “For people to go out of their way and support my cause, I’m so grateful. Chris Paul was a big one for me, he had FaceTimed me. John Wall reached out to me on Twitter. It was cool for those guys to reach out.”

During his battle, his spirits and his outlook stayed positive as the drive to get back to basketball motivated him throughout the process. Now that he has fully recovered, he will look to get back to his normal routine, just with more of a competitive edge.

“I try not to dwell on the past and just look forward to the future. Every day when I look in the mirror, I want to see improvements. My biggest goal is to come back and help Texas win more games and improve myself at the same time.”

While this situation may have been difficult for the average person, Jones saw it as just another adversity he had to overcome and that he was made to do just that.

“God puts stronger soldiers in bigger battles. This was just another situation that I had to overcome.”

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