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Few people can say that their lifelong career and passionbegan out of circumstance, but forformer UTSA basketball player Terrence Jones, this is precisely the case.

Despite his family’s involvement in the sport (his uncleplayed for the New York Knicks and his father played in college), Jones didn’tshow any interest in basketball until the age of 14 when his family moved toGonzalez, La.

“I didn’t have any friends,” says Jones, “so the onlysport I could play to have that interaction was basketball.” Four years later,Jones was ranked number four in the state and signed to play for UTSA.

Jones’ basketball career has taken him all over the world,something that he never conceived could happen. “You never think thatbasketball can take you to places you couldn’t go on your own,” says Jones, “Igot to experience several other countries and people around the world.”

After graduating from UTSA, Jones traveled across theAtlantic Ocean to play for the Euroleague. He played in Italy, France andGermany as well as a short stint in Mexico. Returning to the United States,Jones coached a number of basketball teams from the elementary school level allthe way to Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. But Jones shortlydiscovered that coaching wasn’t his passion, so he returned to San Antonio topursue a slightly different career path: training.

In Jones’ years of coaching, he saw a slow depletion offundamental skills, something that, as a coach, he didn’t have adequate time toaddress with his players.

“The coach is on the macro level, they get their playersready for games. Like a general, they have to get their soldiers ready forwar.” While Jones enjoyed coaching, he found his passion in the micro level ofbasketball, in the basic skills that he could transfer to other players.“Everything that took me 20 years to learn, I can transfer it to one personwithin an hour. And that’s the passion: to see what I’ve learned and to give itto somebody else.”

With thisgoal in mind, Jones teamed up with Nike to bring Nike basketball to San Antoniowith his program Ultimate Champions. “I reached out to Nike and said ‘hey, canI run my own basketball program?’” said Jones, “and they put their stamp on me,and that’s pretty huge for a basketball trainer.”

In his program, Jones will be working with all levels andages of players from the novice to the elite to help develop and hone basicskills as well as the intellectual properties of the game. “When I was playing,I loved it for what I could absorb in terms of learning to become a betterplayer,” says Jones, “If someone wanted to show me anything in basketball, Iwould pursue it aggressively so that I could become a better player and tolearn more about the game because I was so enthralled with it. And from there,the passion went from learning about the game so I could become my better selfto seeing how I can transfer this knowledge.”

Working alongside Nike, Jones hopes to bring his programto every state by franchising, consulting or licensing Ultimate Champions tomake that happen. Jones wants to stay involved with the game for as long as hecan, “I just don’t see myself doing anything else.” For Jones, basketball trulyis his passion, “I didn’t stop playing basketball until I was 27 years old, andI’m doing this nine years later. Part of me just can’t put on those shoes,those Johnson and Murphys and a shirt and tie, I just can’t see it. That’s whyI’m still involved with basketball. I’m 36 and I still play because I stilllove it.”

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