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Ava Jones retires from college basketball: Iowa forward medically disqualified in 2022 after car accident

Iowa basketball forward Ava Jones, a former top-100 recruit who committed to play for the Hawkeyes before suffering serious injuries in 2022 when an impaired driver collided with her and her family on a sidewalk, will accept a medical disqualification and retire from the sport of basketball, head coach Jan Jensen announced Friday.

“We wish Ava the best in her road to recovery and fully support her decision to retire from playing,” Jensen said. “She has worked tirelessly to get to this point, but she has made the best decision for herself and her well-being.”

Jones' decision came after consultation with team doctors and athletic trainers. The medical disqualification allows Jones to keep her scholarship and work toward her degree without hindering Iowa's search for active players.

Jones, a sophomore, took to social media to share her decision with the world.

“I want to start by saying how grateful I am to have been a part of the Iowa women's basketball program,” Jones wrote in a message on social media. “It is with great sadness that I announce that I am retiring from college basketball for medical reasons. My coaches, doctors, teammates and trainers have been amazing since the accident.”

“Even though I will no longer be a member of the women's basketball program, I will continue to receive a scholarship, a world-class education and be a Hawkeye forever.

“I would like to thank my family for their never-ending support and look forward to the next chapter of my life.”

What happened to Ava Jones?

Jones' father, Trey Jones, was killed while she and her mother, Amy Jones, were injured on July 5, 2022, when a drunk driver ran into them on a sidewalk in Louisville, where Ava was competing in an AAU tournament. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, torn ligaments in both knees and a shoulder injury.

After the incident, the Hawkeyes vowed to honor her scholarship regardless of whether she could return to the court.

Jones documented her comeback attempt on her YouTube channel. A 6-foot-2 forward, Jones averaged 20.8 points and 15.4 rebounds per game during her junior season at Nickerson High School in Kansas. She was named Class 3A Player of the Year for her efforts.

She was scheduled to travel with the Hawkeyes during the 2023-24 season, but was never medically cleared to play.