Spanning the globe

Jarrod Jones

MICHIGAN CITY — For as many countries as Jarrod Jones' basketball career has taken him to, the Michigan City product qualifies as a world traveler as well as a bucket-getter.

The 29-year-old's been in professional leagues in Hungary, Ukraine, China, Italy, Turkey and France.

Jones' most recent team, AS Monaco Basket, is also part of the Euro League, so he's hooped in Spain, Germany and Serbia as well.

In addition, the average fan probably isn't aware that while he is American-born, Jones is a naturalized Hungarian. He earned the country's passport in 2012 and represented it on its national team during the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) break.

"The overseas game is definitely growing," Jones said Wednesday during his LTG Camp at the high school. "I'd say it's neck and neck with France, Italy and Turkey. There's NBA players going overseas and playing and a lot of NBA teams are taking a lot of guys from overseas. It's a good balance. It's definitely a good stepping stone."

In contrast to the one-on-one, isolation nature of NBA offenses, Jones finds that the European game has much more structure.

"It's more team-oriented, not just one guy," he said. "There's more plays, more ball movement. It's more the type you see when you watch the Spurs or Warriors."

AS Monaco Basket reached the finals of France's league, LNB A, falling to Lyon-Villeurbanne, owned by Tony Parker, 3-2, in a best-of-five series. Monaco, which won Games 3 and 4 to force the decisive finale, led 35-27 at half in Game 5, but Lyon-Villeurbanne used a 24-6 third quarter to flip the game en route to a 66-55 win.

While Jones was second on a balanced team in scoring for the regular season at 11.5 points per game, that total and his team-leading 5.9 rebounds slipped appreciably to 6.8 and 3.5, respectively, in the postseason.

"It was a good year," Jones said. "Monaco's one of the better teams I've been on. It just wasn't a good fit for me. I think I have more to offer. With a family and daughter, I'd like to find something a little more stable, somewhere I can get comfortable at."

Jones looks to have his professional playing future determined before long. In the interim, he is getting some quality run right at home in the LTG League at Barker, where a short-handed team had the benefit of his services Tuesday. He finished up his sixth camp Tuesday and will be sponsoring a block party once again on July 28.

"I just appreciate the support in the city to allow me to come back," he said, recognizing camp sponsors Horizon Bank and Allstate Insurance with agent Ryan Prendergast. "Hopefully, there are many more to come."

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