Basketball Legend Appears At Florida Tech On Friday
By Florida Tech // October 30, 2012
Celtcs' Sam Jones Guest At Tip-Off Luncheon
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Ten-time National Basketball Association champion and five-time NBA All-Star Sam Jones will be the guest speaker at Florida Tech’s Tip-Off Luncheon presented by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi of Melbourne.
The luncheon will be held at noon Friday in the Hartley Room on the second floor of the Denius Student Center on the FIT campus in Melbourne.
Men’s head coach Billy Mims and women’s head coach John Reynolds will join Jones at the event. Both coaches will speak and introduce a few members of their team as they prepare for the 2012-13 campaign.
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams are coming off NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. Mims led the men’s team to its first-ever outright Sunshine State Conference Regular Season Championship and its first NCAA Division II Tournament victory since the 1989-90 season. On the women’s side, Reynolds guided his squad to its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and eighth in the program’s 26-year history.
Known as “Mr. Clutch” and “Sweet-shooting Sam Jones” in his playing days, Jones was part of 10 NBA Championships in 12 seasons with the Boston Celtics, including eight-straight titles from 1959-66. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and selected to the All-NBA Second Team three times. In 1983, Jones was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“Speaking about basketball and coming from a Division II school myself, it will be very interesting,” Jones said of the opportunity to speak to the Florida Tech faithful. “I want to inform the young men and young women to do the best that you possibly can and don’t worry about being at the Division II level because basketball is basketball no matter where you play. Anyone will see you if you want to take it to the next level.”
The North Carolina Central graduate was drafted in the first round, eighth pick overall, in the 1957 NBA Draft. In 12 NBA seasons, Jones collected 15,411 points for an average of 17.7 points per game and shot a career .803 percentage from the free-throw line. Jones had many clutch moments in his career to lead the Celtics to nine NBA championships in his first 11 years, and he left room for one more heroic moment before stepping away from his playing career.
In what was his 12th and final season in the Association, Jones made one final lasting impression of his greatness in the 1969 NBA Finals. With seven seconds remaining in game four, and Boston trailing the Los Angeles Lakers by one point, the Celtics called a timeout and drew up a play. The Lakers were leading the series 2-1, with a chance to take a 3-1 series lead. The play was for Jones to take the final shot. Jones took the shot and drained it to secure the game-four victory. Boston went on to win the series and capture its 10th championship in 11 years.
In 1996, Jones was named one the NBA’s All-Time 50 Greatest Players.
Seats for the luncheon can be reserved for only $20 for Panther Club members and $25 for non-members. Seating is limited, so early registration is encouraged.
To make a reservation, go to http://bit.ly/Q1lerO and purchase tickets.