University of Arkansas junior Mason Jones is a theater arts and communication major who dreams of one day becoming an actor on par with Denzel Washington.
That acting career will need to take a raincheck, though.
Mason Jones basketball future is looking increasingly bright, especially after winning the highest individual honor of his career so far: SEC Co-Player of the Year.
Today, the Associated Press announced Jones and Mississippi States Reggie Perry share the honors for the 2019-2020 season.
This is the fourth time a Hog has been named SEC Player of the Year, joining Bobby Portis (consensus in 2015) and Corliss Williamson (consensus 1994 and 1995).
Jones, naturally, also made the first-team All-SEC team. He is the eighth Arkansas player to get consensus first team All-SEC honors. The others are Daniel Gafford (2019), Bobby Portis (2015), Ronnie Brewer (2006), Scotty Thurman (1994 & 1995), Corliss Williamson (1994 & 1995), Todd Day (1992) and Lee Mayberry (1992).
Jones was especially devastating scoring the ball this season, challenging or breaking some of Todd Days scoring records.
He scoring 23.6 points a game in SEC play, breaking Days Arkansas season record for SEC games.
I feel like this is what my team needs for me to go out there and be a killer. We might be small and we might be limited on depth, but we play hard, we play strong and we give it all we got every game, Jones told Bo Mattingly.
As well as Jones has played this year, I know for me to get to the level I want to get to, this is not good enough, he added.
His great bounce back continues.
Jones had been great in fifth grade, one of the top-ranked players in the nation for that age group as he regularly locked horns with the likes of Jayson Tatum.
But, starting in sixth grade, I just lost myself, lost my body. Jones put on too many pounds. I hit a path where I didnt know what I was doing. I really just gave up on basketball, knowing the expectations [created] by my siblings were too high.
Jones older siblings both were prep stars who became high achievers in college. Matt Jones, four years Masons elder, for a national championship with Duke. Older sister Jordan Jones, meanwhile, developed into a star point guard for Texas A&M.
Mason Jones was too overweight to play high school basketball in ninth through eleventh grades. Instead, in seventh and eighth grades, he played as a center on his football team.
Basketball was relegated to pickup games during PE. I was there, just a fat, chubby kid, jacking up threes and having fun, he told Mattingly. He didnt feel compelled to ball more seriously than that.
Through it all, his friends and family stuck by his side. If he didnt want to keep playing basketball, so be it. They would have his back no matter what.
That was the big moment in my life right there, just knowing that they were supporting me, but not making my decisions for me in life.
His brother, Matt, was especially helpful. Mason Jones confessed to him that he was tired of being known as a little brother that was the worst pet peeve of my life.
A flip had switched for Jones. He was ready to lose enough weight to play school ball to put in the hours needed to get into the gym and eat healthier.
I wanted to be a Division I player but moreso I wanted to make my parents proud, I wanted to make my siblings proud, I wanted to make my best friends proud. The only way I felt like I could do that at the time was by basketball, so I wanted to get back to it.
His parents helped push him to lose weight. His friends did, too, sometimes picking him up and driving him to a local track to run.
He didnt turn it around enough then to even do the wind sprints to make the DeSoto High (Texas) team, which his brother had played for. Instead, he played for Top 100 Academy, but he had to start on the JV. Even though he didnt start as a senior, Jones had done enough to show that a U-turn in his career and life was underway.
Even though the journey upward had just begun, hed made his people proud. So much of what Mason Jones has come through since fifth grade has been nothing but adversity, but he doesnt see that as a negative. Adversity is still gonna come, but how do you handle it?
I approach these things like God, what is the reason for this? How do you see it? Is this a humbling experience?
Although Jones has done great things so far in his two seasons as an Arkansas Razorback, theres still more to the journey. Im nowhere near where I could be right now.
I havent peaked yet. I feel like Im still behind in some things, because I started late. But trust me, Im learning real quick and the more I learn, the more Im gonna get better.
Mason Jones already really good. The proofs in the record book:
1 of 5 finalists for the Jerry West Award given to the nations top shooting guard Was SEC Player of the Week four times, tying a league record (1 of 3 and first since 2009) SEC Scoring Leader 22.0; 8th in the NCAA and looking to be the 1st Razorback to lead the SEC at seasons end Leads the NCAA in both free throws made (223) and attempted (271) Scored at least 30 points nine times most by an SEC player over the last 20 years; 4th most in the NCAA this season Set Arkansas record for Points Scored (SEC Season) 424 Set Arkansas record for FT made in a season 223^ 7th on SEC single season list and most since 1980 (233 by Jon Stroud Ole Miss) Set Arkansas record for FT made (SEC Season) 146 The only player in the SEC to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals The only player in the SEC to rank among the leagues top 24 in scoring (1st), rebounding (21st), assists (10th) and steals (7th) Was 1 of 2 players in the SEC to lead his team in scoring and rebounding 1 of 3 players in the SEC over the last 30 years to have multiple 40-point games in a season
Possibly Jones most impressive performance this year:
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- Thin gene that controls weight could help cure obesity - inews - May 21st, 2020
- Obesity and Covid-19: Researchers find major risk for deadly blood clots in the lungs - Health24 - May 21st, 2020
- We must win obesity war for the NHS: Third of COVID-19 deaths linked to diabetes - Express - May 21st, 2020
- Association between obesity-related anthropometric indices and multimorbidity among older adults in Shandong, China: a cross-sectional study. -... - May 21st, 2020
- Covid-19: More than 100 very obese patients are hospitalised with coronavirus - Independent.ie - May 21st, 2020
- PolitiFact: Donald Trump doesnt meet the definition of morbidly obese - Tampa Bay Times - May 20th, 2020
- Telephone coaching helped pregnant women with overweight or obesity manage gestational weight gain - Kaiser Permanente Division of Research - May 20th, 2020
- $5.75M grant to help researchers study role of obesity in development of pancreatic cancer - UCLA Newsroom - May 20th, 2020
- Battle Fatty Liver Disease and Obesity, Inform Cost-Effective Treatment Decisions: Echosens Articulates Value of Non-Invasive Diagnostic Tool,... - May 20th, 2020
- Wearing a Weighted Vest Alters Weight Loading and Improves Body Composition in Patients With Obesity - Endocrinology Advisor - May 18th, 2020
- Salivary Amylase Gene Copy Number Is Associated with the Obesity and I | DMSO - Dove Medical Press - May 18th, 2020
- Different Fatty Acid Composition Observed in Oocytes of Women With Overweight or Obesity - Endocrinology Advisor - May 18th, 2020
- Common sense health: Obese patients at higher risk of COVID-19 complications - The Bakersfield Californian - May 18th, 2020
- People get fatter as their country gets richer - UB Now: News and views for UB faculty and staff - University at Buffalo Reporter - May 18th, 2020
- Coffee Linked To Lower Body Fat Among Women, May Have Anti-Obesity Properties - Study Finds - May 18th, 2020
- Hospital admissions where obesity was a factor in London rise while research links severe coronavirus with weight - Hampstead Highgate Express - May 18th, 2020
- Hackney hospital admissions where obesity is a factor rise while study finds link between Covid-19 and weight - Hackney Gazette - May 18th, 2020
- Gene therapy reduces fat and builds muscle in mice - BioNews - May 18th, 2020
- Addressing the potential impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Obesity Management 10-Year Market Forecast and Trends Analysis Research Report -... - May 18th, 2020
- Slimming World welcomes Boris Johnson's pledge to tackle obesity - PoliticsHome.com - May 18th, 2020
- Obesity, stigma and vulnerability to Covid-19 - The Irish Times - May 17th, 2020
- New report highlights the impact of obesity on WA health system - Australasian Leisure Management - May 17th, 2020
- Obese people are more at risk from coronavirus - and Teesside has a problem - Teesside Live - May 17th, 2020
- Forget ExerciseThese Mice Got Ripped With Gene Therapy - Singularity Hub - May 17th, 2020
- Britain's fattest town exposed: 300 takeaway shops and 1-in-5 kids dangerously obese - Daily Star - May 17th, 2020
- Obesity Found Protective in mCRPC - Renal and Urology News - May 17th, 2020
- Statement Finds Healthy Eating Behaviors in Childhood Reduce Risk of Adult Obesity, Heart Disease - Pharmacy Times - May 17th, 2020
- Semaglutide 2.4 mg demonstrates superior and sustained weight loss versus placebo and in addition a 17.4% weight loss after 68 weeks in STEP 4 trial -... - May 17th, 2020
- Obesity Is Top Underlying Condition for Severe COVID-19 - Heavy.com - May 17th, 2020
- Psilocybin May be the Key to Treating a Range of Health Issues, Including Obesity - Baystreet.ca - May 17th, 2020
- Covid-19 is the new reality as lockdown exit gets closer - Hindustan Times - May 17th, 2020
- Study finds different types of human white fat cells - Medical News Today - May 17th, 2020
- New research confirms straw could be valuable weapon in fight against equine obesity - Horse & Hound - May 17th, 2020
- Obesity predicted to cost WA $610 million per year by 2026 - WAtoday - May 17th, 2020
- Alcoholism drug linked to dramatic weight loss in obesity study - SlashGear - May 15th, 2020
- Report: Boris Johnson thinks obesity was behind Covid hospitalisation - Business Insider - Business Insider - May 15th, 2020
- Repurposed drug helps obese mice lose weight, improve metabolic function - National Institutes of Health - May 15th, 2020
- Beyond sugar and salt reformulation: The case for 'positive nutrition' targets to help curb obesity - FoodNavigator.com - May 15th, 2020
- Boris Johnson Thinks Coronavirus Hospitalized Him Because He's Clinically Obese - The Daily Beast - May 15th, 2020
- Obesity and coronavirus whats the link? - The Sun - May 15th, 2020
- Obesity predicted to cost WA $610 million per year by 2026 - The Age - May 15th, 2020
- Hospital admissions for obesity in Cornwall reach record high - Cornwall Live - May 15th, 2020
- Obesity Can Shift Severe COVID-19 to Younger Age Groups - Medscape - May 12th, 2020
- Latest evidence on obesity and COVID-19 - Medical News Today - May 12th, 2020
- This is why people with obesity are more likely to die from coronavirus - World Economic Forum - May 12th, 2020
- Study: Teen Obesity, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure May Lead to Prematurely Aged Arteries - Pharmacy Times - May 12th, 2020
- Gene therapy cuts fat and builds muscle in sedentary mice on unhealthy diets - FierceBiotech - May 12th, 2020
- At least 400 people have died from coronavirus in Wisconsin. Here's what trends are emerging. - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - May 12th, 2020
- Allurion Expands Digital Offering For Patients and Providers in Response to COVID-19 - Business Wire - May 12th, 2020
- Malnutrition leading cause of death and ill health worldwide report - The Guardian - May 12th, 2020
- Guidelines issued to prevent stigmatisation of obesity patients awaiting surgery - Irish Medical Times - May 12th, 2020
- Obesity leads to more than 12,000 admissions to Dorset hospitals in a year - Bournemouth Echo - May 12th, 2020
- Telling obese people to slim is no insult it could be a life-saver when it comes to coronavirus - The Sun - May 12th, 2020
- Latest evidence on obesity and COVID-19 - India Gone Viral - May 6th, 2020
- FIUs Dr. Aileen Marty On New Studies Suggesting COVID-19 Is Aerosolized And The Obesity Factor - CBS Miami - May 6th, 2020
- Coronavirus linked to greater risk of life-threatening infection in people with obesity - The Conversation UK - May 6th, 2020
- Teens, Genes, and Food Choices: What Contributes to Adolescent Obesity? - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) - May 6th, 2020
- Why COVID-19 kills some people and spares others. Here's what scientists are finding. - Livescience.com - May 6th, 2020
- After Losing Her Father to Obesity, This Woman Took Her Inheritance and Started a Gym - Black Enterprise - May 6th, 2020
- Obese Britons may be forced to remain in lockdown after lifting of coronavirus restrictions - 9News - May 6th, 2020
- Fecal transplants may help combat obesity and diabetes: Know more about this new treatment - TheHealthSite - May 6th, 2020
- Tackling obesity is more important than ever during the coronavirus crisis - The Grocer - May 6th, 2020
- Matt Hancock orders urgent probe into why coronavirus deaths in obese and ethnic minorities are so high - The Sun - May 6th, 2020
- Evidence obesity is a risk factor for serious illness with coronavirus is mounting even if you're young - The Conversation AU - May 2nd, 2020
- Obesity prevented in mice treated with gene-disabling nanoparticles - Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis - May 2nd, 2020
- UK Scientists Are Urgently Investigating The Link Between Obesity And The Coronavirus - BuzzFeed - May 2nd, 2020
- Obesity and high blood pressure in children could affect artery thickness later in life - msnNOW - May 2nd, 2020
- Higher thrombus risk in men with obesity in adolescence - Times of India - May 2nd, 2020
- Study suggests that wearing weighted vests could reduce obesity - New Atlas - May 2nd, 2020
- Screen Time and Obesity - AG INFORMATION NETWORK OF THE WEST - AGInfo Ag Information Network Of The West - May 2nd, 2020
- Obese adults facing Medicaid expansion gap - University of Georgia - May 2nd, 2020
- Letter: County obesity, food deserts need to be addressed - The Republic - May 2nd, 2020
- Obese people and males are at greater risk of dying from coronavirus: UK study - International Business Times, Singapore Edition - May 2nd, 2020
- Opinion | Who's fighting the obesity and diabetes pandemics? - Niagarathisweek.com - May 2nd, 2020
- Simming Memoirs Part IX: The return of King Sim Obesity II - Grand Prix 247 - May 2nd, 2020
- COVID-19 is hitting some patients with obesity particularly hard - Science News - April 29th, 2020