EJ Jones is a gentle giant.
He's the son of a 10-year NBA vet, who was a legend on the Houston high school hardwoods at Wheatley High School. Dwight Jones starred for the University of Houston and played in the 1972 Olympics.
EJ Jones is a 6-foot-10 center at The Woodlands Christian. He won a pair of TAPPS state titles and recently signed with Trinity Christian in Chicago.
EJ Jones is a TWCA student trainer.
EJ Jones has his own non-profit, Covered by EDJ, which provides blankets, clothes and toiletries for the homeless.
EJ Jones sang in the TWCA Chapel Worship Team.
EJ Jones is proud of what his dad accomplished as a basketball player, but it doesn't define him.
"I started getting interesting in basketball and I learned about my dad's history in the fifth grade," he said. "I started to think that maybe this is my destiny.
"I thought, hey I've got this long, beautiful body – I might as well use it," he laughed.
Sometimes it gets annoying, however.
"I was at Texas Boys State and I can't tell you how many times I was asked how tall I was or if I play basketball," he said. "I go to the grocery store and little kids look at me. I know I'm the tallest person they've ever seen. They want to stop and talk. I want to be nice and talk to them, but I just tell them I'm just a regular person like you."
EJ doesn't remember his father playing basketball. He was born after Dwight had retired. Dwight Jones died of Cardiac Arrest in June of 2016. EJ just stayed with the sport and it connected him to his late father.
"People compare me to my dad," he said. "I haven't had his success but that success drives me to want to work so hard."
He played for Basketball University's AAU program and spent tireless hours in the gym. He's had several coaches who have played a big role in his game, but it's his mom Felicia who has been the most influential person in his life.
"After my dad died, she's been my rock," he said. "She cares for me in a way that only a mom can. She's never given up on me. Even if I didn't want to play basketball, I knew she was proud of me."
Jones got the call in late March from Trinity Christian, who showed interest in Jones.
"I talked with the coaches on Zoom and did a virtual tour," he said. "I talked to several players who were really honest with me. I think I'm going to love it and it just seems right."
Jones will be pursuing a biology degree.
"I'd love to play professional basketball, but if that's not in God's plan, I'd like to do medical research," he said. "Trinity Christian gives their students a lot of research opportunities."
Jones has received some medical experience as an athletic trainer for TWCA.
"I do a lot of extra-curricular activities," he said. "I wasn't looking to get into athletic training to pad my resume, it just seemed liked fun. It taught me a lot about my own treatment. If I was injured, I could treat myself. I could also tape my teammates' ankles if they needed it before a game. It was a win-win."
EJ Jones is the true definition of a student-athlete... and an all-around good guy.
There are so many great athletes in the private school realm in Houston.
VYPE highlights five athletes or teams from across the private school ranks in this edition of Private School Playmakers Powered by Texas Citizens Bank.
EJ Jones, TWCA
EJ Jones is part of Houston basketball royalty. His father Dwight Jones played at Wheatley and UH, before a 10-year career in the NBA. He also represented the USA at the 1972 Olympics. The 6-foot-10 EJ helped lead his team to a TAPPS title at TWCA and recently signed with Trinity Christian University.
Riley Cargile, FBCA
Riley Cargile of Fort Bend Christian Academy left her mark on the Eagles' athletic program. She ran track and was a beast on the softball diamond. She played infield and catcher for coach Kelly Carroll. She will play her college ball at Campbell University.
Ja'Vier Francis, Westbury Christian
Ja'Vier Francis is a rangy 6-foot-8 forward at Westbury Christian, who helped lead the Wildcats to the TAPPS state title game. Francis was a finalist for the Guy V. Lewis Award and was an all-state selection as a junior. He was the district MVP and has offers from the likes of UH, SMU, SFA and Iona, just to name a few.
St. Agnes Soccer
In case you missed it, St. Agnes won is first-ever TAPPS state soccer title. This was the Tigers' ninth state title game. St. Agnes went 22-1 overall and beat Fort Worth Nolan 6-0 in the finals.
Ben DeLoit, John Cooper School
Two-way star Ben DeLoit received his first offer from the University of Rochester in late April. DeLoit averaged five yards per carry and had three interceptions as a running back/defensive back. The 5-foot-11 skill-player looks to have a break-out senior season and build on his high school resume.
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