Basketball really is just a game. In the state of Kentucky, we often make it seem like life and death. After hearing about what happened in Memphis on Saturday, it does put things in perspective at a time (March) when they probably need to be put there the most. Chris Jones could not be excited about his great game at SMU on Wednesday night, and there was a reason. His stepfather’s son, Chris’ best friend, was shot and killed in Memphis on Saturday afternoon while the Cards were taking on the Tigers.
I will let the Courier Journal’s Adam Himmelsbach take it from here. He details the story and spoke with Jones about it. Here is some of the article. Below there will be a link to read the rest of it.
Jones said that 23-year-old Demetrius Ray — his stepfather’s son and his best friend — was shot and killed outside his Memphis home on Saturday afternoon. Jones said Ray died while the Cardinals were playing their game at Memphis, and after U of L’s loss, Jones’ mother pulled him aside and told him about a much greater one.
“Tough city of Memphis, so…” Jones said quietly Wednesday night, his words trailing off.
Jones said he and Demetrius had been best friends since they were 2. They played youth league football together and remained inseparable as they grew older.
“He took care of me when I needed,” Jones said. “He was there when I needed someone to talk to. We did everything together when I was home. To see him pass, the least I can do is dedicate my game and the rest of the season to him.”
Jones has posted a picture of Demetrius to his Instagram account and he has written his name on his white game sneakers. He said that in one of their recent conversations, Demetrius told him to win a national championship for him. So now that is where Jones’ focus has shifted.
He is focused on honoring his brother on the court, the best way he knows how. He said this week he has practiced harder than ever and played harder than ever, and he doesn’t plan to stop.
“I’m doing what he wanted me to do,” Jones said. “He wanted us to win the whole thing.”