Everyone’s journey towards chasing a dream is different. There are people who hope their dreams come true, and those who make their dreams come true. Dwaine Jones of Neptune High School and Convent College prep had one goal and only one goal: to play Division 1 basketball. Dwaine Jones can take a deep breath as he has made his dream come true… because he signed with COPPIN STATE UNIVERSITY.
So often kids had hopes and dreams. They want to accomplish something big, something special, like maybe playing D1 basketball. But, somewhere along the way, sometimes, people give up on their dreams. They hit a roadblock or maybe those around them don’t think they’re good enough. Maybe the college coaches can’t see their value. When this happens, a player is at the crossover of their dreams. This is when kids, their parents, and others start rationalizing. They say things like, “D1 is not everything”. They say another non-D1 school had more to offer. What they are really saying is the jig is up. They’re done chasing the dream. They can’t fight anymore for that dream. They are prepared to settle. Dwaine Jones refused to settle on his dreams. He has been fighting against people doubting him his entire athletic life. He just couldn’t walk away from his dreams when it would have been so easy to do so.
Dewaine Jones has always had to work a little harder than most. When he played AAU he never got the respect other players got. He was never the focal point of his team. He was always talented and a hard worker. But yet, it seemed he was always treated as a 2nd class citizen. You wonder why at times he didn’t give up. Well, the reason he didn’t give up was because of his mother. Even though she shed tears for her son, Annie Blaney Jones believed in him. She was a total rock for him. She give Dwain the support he needed to stay strong when his AAU coaches doubted him and didn’t give him love. It was Annie who was Dwaine’s biggest cheerleader. It was Annie that told him he was special and deserved better. It was Annie that convinced him that nobody could stop him, if he believed in himself. Today, Annie Blaney Jones’s son has rewarded her for her trust and belief in him.
When Dwaine Jones played at NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL, he did just about everything a player can do. His team had 20 wins a season, he had buzzer-beater winning shots, he made a buzzer-beater three-point shot in the state tournament. He carried Neptune as a senior when everyone said the team would not be very good. He scored a 1000 points at Neptune. Get the picture? Dwaine Jones did everything a young man could do at the high school level. Yet he could get little attention. The D1 coaches didn’t come calling. But, that didn’t stop Dwaine Jones from chasing his dream. He just decided to take a different road to his goal.
When I went to the gym one day and saw Dwaine Jones practicing with The Convent School, my jaw dropped because Dwain Jones is a quiet and sensitive young man. Coach Ian Trumbull is a total taskmaster. He is an old school coach. There is no give and take. Coach Trumbull coaches his team harder than any coach I know. He has a standard everyone must live by. His players must respect each other on the court. How they speak and dress has to meet a standard in the locker room; they must respect each other in the team house. Coach Trumbull runs a tight ship and not everyone can handle his never wavering discipline. But one thing everyone knows… COACH TRUMBULL AND CONVENT GET KIDS READY FOR COLLEGE. Dewaine Jones is as ready as it gets.
Watching Dwaine Jones accept and embrace tough coaching shocked me. But watching take The Convent college team by the throat and led them, blew me away. His leadership was not impressive, yet it showed real growth. His body looked like something carved out of marble. But, it was his mental toughness that jumped off the Paige. He appeared unshakable. You could tell Coach Trumbull and the entire team believed in him. Dwaine Jones’s attitude and body language were beyond elite and it was standard-setting. It was clear to me he was on a mission.
I finally got to see Dwaine Jones against some of the best prep schools on the East Coach. His ability to defend was elite and the way he ran his team was a thing of beauty. He was a two-way player who elevated his teammates. His ability to knock down shots was impressive, but for me, his shot selection and high assist to turnover ratio were the most exciting to me. Dwain Jones has lifted his entire game. He was clearly a D1 player and by signing with COPPIN put a stamp on that.
Dwaine Jones serves as a role model for kids with a dream. He is an example of never letting others set your expectations. He had taken the tough road every step of the way. But he knew he was special, his mother ANNIE knew he was special. His high school coach and prep school coaches knew he was special… and now COPPIN PROVED HE WAS SPECIAL… congratulations to a true warrior… DAWINE JONES!