AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Longhorns basketball player Andrew Jones was named the Big 12 Conference’s Male Sportsperson of the Year on Wednesday.
Voted on by the media, Jones earned the honor for “displaying an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship, community service and academic achievement,” according to the conference release.
Jones was diagnosed with leukemia in 2018 in the middle of the basketball season. He battled cancer for a year and a half, completing treatment in September 2019.
Even while receiving treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Jones sought to inspire others by speaking to others fighting cancer and posting updates of his progress on social media.
Jones actually played in two games during the 2018-19 season while undergoing chemotherapy — his redshirt season.
He finished his cancer treatments in Austin only months before the 2019-20 season. In the season opener against Northern Colorado, he scored a career-high 20 points, playing 29 minutes. He played in all 31 games last season on his way to All-Big 12 honorable mention.
“Our entire Texas Basketball family congratulates Andrew on this well-deserved honor,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. “His courage, strength, and resiliency have served as an inspiration to so many. It has been especially rewarding to see Andrew’s positive impact extend well beyond the basketball arena. What’s equally exciting is the fact that Andrew continues to grow and develop, both on and off the court. The best is yet to come.”
Jones was a featured speaker at MD Anderson Cancer Center in summer 2019, providing inspiration to young adult patients and family members, while also sending gratitude to caregivers and health professionals. Additionally, he volunteered as a speaker at the Stuttering Institute Summer Camp in Austin, encouraging growth and chasing dreams to the kids in attendance, according to a release from Texas Athletics.