Sam Jones Then and Now

By / July 11, 2024

Sam Jones Then

Sam Jones, born on June 24, 1933, in Laurinburg, North Carolina, embarked on a distinguished basketball career shaped by his early education and military service. 

He honed his skills at Laurinburg Institute before continuing his academic and athletic journey at North Carolina Central University (then known as North Carolina College). 

Under the guidance of Hall of Fame coach John McLendon and coach Floyd Brown, Jones excelled as a four-year letter winner, earning acclaim in the CIAA league with three consecutive selections. 

His impressive college career saw him score 1,745 points, a testament to his scoring prowess and commitment to the game.

Despite being drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers as the eighth pick in the 1956 NBA draft, Jones made a pivotal decision to defer his professional basketball aspirations. 

sam jones young
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Following two years of service in the United States Army, where he fulfilled his military obligations, Jones prioritized completing his education and earning a degree. 

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This choice, to return to college post-military service, resulted in NBA rules nullifying the Lakers’ draft rights to him, temporarily delaying his entry into professional basketball.

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Jones’ dedication extended beyond the court; initially aspiring to become a teacher after graduation, he demonstrated a commitment to both education and service, reflecting his multifaceted talents and ambitions beyond basketball. 

His early life experiences, from his roots at Laurinburg Institute to his collegiate achievements and military service, shaped a foundation of discipline, skill, and integrity that would characterize his future success in basketball and beyond.

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Sam Jones NBA Career

Sam Jones’s NBA career with the Boston Celtics is a testament to both his skill on the court and the astute judgment of legendary coach Red Auerbach.

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Drafted in 1957 as the eighth pick by the Celtics, Jones joined the team without Auerbach having seen him play firsthand.

This decision, influenced by recommendations from figures like Bones McKinney, who highlighted Jones as North Carolina’s standout player, proved pivotal for Boston’s future success.

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Initially a reserve, Jones gradually earned his place in the starting lineup, eventually replacing Bill Sharman and earning his first NBA All-Star appearance in 1962.

Jones’s impact on the Celtics dynasty during the 1960s was profound. Known for his scoring ability and clutch performances, he became one of only six players in Celtics history to score 50 points in a single NBA game. 

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His standout moment came in the 1965 season when he set a franchise record with 51 points against the Detroit Pistons, showcasing his offensive prowess and contributing significantly to Boston’s success that year.

Throughout his twelve seasons with the Celtics, Jones accumulated impressive statistics, including 15,411 points, 2,209 assists, and 4,305 rebounds.

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He played a pivotal role in Boston’s dominance in the NBA, helping the team secure eight consecutive NBA championships from 1959 to 1966.

sam jones career
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His contributions on both ends of the floor, highlighted by his performance in crucial moments like Game 7 of the 1966 NBA Finals, where he scored 22 points, solidified his legacy as a key figure in Celtics history.

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Sam Jones Height

Sam Jones stood at a height of 1.91 meters (6 feet 3 inches), a stature that complemented his agility and skill on the basketball court during his illustrious career with the Boston Celtics.

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Sam Jones Retirement

Sam Jones’s twelve-season tenure with the Boston Celtics showcased his scoring prowess, amassing 15,411 points, while also demonstrating his all-around game with 2,209 assists and 4,305 rebounds, solidifying his status as the franchise’s leading scorer upon his retirement in 1969.

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Sam Jones Coaching Career

After concluding his illustrious playing career with the Boston Celtics, Sam Jones transitioned into coaching, bringing his wealth of basketball knowledge and experience to collegiate and professional teams.

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From 1969 to 1973, Jones served as head coach at Federal City College, which is now known as the University of the District of Columbia. 

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Following this tenure, he returned to his alma mater, North Carolina Central University, for the 1973-74 season, where he continued to impart his expertise to young players.

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Jones further honed his coaching skills as an assistant coach for the New Orleans Jazz during the 1974-75 NBA season, contributing to the development of players at the professional level. 

Throughout his coaching career, Jones’s commitment to the game and mentorship of aspiring athletes underscored his enduring influence on basketball beyond his playing days.

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Sam Jones Wife

Sam Jones’s life after basketball was marked by his dedication to family, community, and education. 

Married to Gladys Chavis until her passing in 2018, they raised five children together, nurturing a close-knit family unit.

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During his years residing in Silver Spring, Maryland, Jones contributed to the local community by frequently serving as a substitute teacher in the Montgomery County public school system. 

His commitment to education and youth development extended beyond the classroom, reflecting his belief in giving back and supporting the next generation.

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In retirement, Jones relocated to St. Augustine, Florida, where he continued to enjoy life while leaving a lasting legacy both on and off the basketball court.

Sam Jones Now

sam jones age
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Sam Jones, a revered figure in the annals of basketball history, passed away at the age of 88 on the evening of December 30, 2021, in Boca Raton, Florida.

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Known for his exceptional skills as a shooting guard for the Boston Celtics in the NBA, Jones earned acclaim as a five-time NBA All-Star and garnered nicknames like “Mr. Clutch” and “The Shooter” for his ability to deliver game-winning shots, particularly in critical playoff moments.

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His legacy extends beyond statistics, embodying the spirit of excellence and resilience that defined his career, and continues to inspire generations of basketball enthusiasts and players alike.

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Is Sam Jones in the Hof?

Sam Jones is indeed inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his outstanding career with the Boston Celtics, where he was a key player in their dynasty during the 1960s, contributing significantly to their multiple NBA championships.

What is Sam Jones famous for?

Sam Jones is famous for his tenure with the Boston Celtics, where he earned the nickname “Mr. Clutch” for his ability to make crucial shots, especially in playoff games.

He was a five-time NBA All-Star and played an integral role in the Celtics’ dominance in the 1960s, winning multiple NBA championships.

Why are the Celtics wearing 24 on their jersey?

The Boston Celtics retired jersey number 24 in honor of Sam Jones, recognizing his contributions and legacy with the team during his illustrious career.

What happened to Sam J. Jones?

Sam Jones passed away on the evening of December 30, 2021, in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 88 years old at the time of his death.

What is Sam Jones III doing now?

Sam Jones III, known for his acting career, is not to be confused with the basketball player Sam Jones.

Sam Jones III is known for his roles in television and film, including “Smallville” and “Blue Mountain State.”

Who does Sam Jones play for?

Sam Jones played his entire NBA career with the Boston Celtics, where he established himself as one of the greatest shooting guards in league history.

Who got the most NBA rings?

Bill Russell holds the record for the most NBA championship rings, winning a total of 11 titles with the Boston Celtics during his career.

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