Loyola alumnus Caelan “CJ” Jones ’19 will be continuing his basketball career at Boston University. He started playing basketball at around the age of eight or nine and quickly fell in love with the game shortly after.
Jones said that as early as he could remember, “Playing D1 hoops was one of my biggest goals.” However, he did not have the easiest path to success. “I was a late bloomer in high school, so I didn’t really start to see that until the end of my senior year,” he said.
Jones continued, “ I could always play, but I wasn’t very consistent nor confident. I decided I was going to do a postgraduate year and it was that summer that I became an elite player.”
He reclassified and attended Vermont Academy the year after he graduated from Loyola. “I really started to invest in the work and went from having zero D1 schools talking to me when I graduated as a senior, to having 15 D1 offers one month later.”
Loyola varsity basketball coach Jamal Adams added, “CJ has always been an elite worker, teammate, and shooter. Over his time at Loyola, we kept working on him, rounding out his ability to handle it and guard his position. During his senior year for us at Loyola, he had some amazing games shooting the rock and providing space for our other guys to operate because the other teams had to be so aware of where he was at all times.”
Another obstacle for Jones was that he had moved around a lot when he was growing up; however, it could also be seen as a blessing in disguise.
Jones said, “I was born in Amsterdam then moved from (in order) Portland, OR to San Diego, CA to Buffalo, NY to finally, Los Angeles, CA. Pretty wild.”
Eventually, he settled down in Los Angeles, playing basketball at Loyola where he was a star in his senior year. That year, he averaged 9.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 1.6 APG while shooting 48% from the field and 46% from three-point range. He felt that always being the “new kid” really shaped his personality into who he is today, and he is thankful for all the travel that occurred in his life.
“The world is so big and being exposed to all different kinds of people and places I feel only benefits you,” added Jones.
Coach Adams added that his favorite thing about CJ was, “the joyful exuberance that he came to the gym with every day. He was spectacular at lifting everyone around him with a well place joke; he always supported each teammate when they were rolling, but especially when they were struggling.”
CJ Jones had many fantastic moments and experiences with Loyola, however, two stand out for him: Loyola beating Harvard-Westlake at Harvard Westlake’s gym and beating St. John Bosco to win a tournament, both during his senior year. As he continues his career at Boston University, he hopes to make even more memorable moments.
Some of his goals are to win the The Patriot League Championship and to have the opportunity to play in the prestigious NCAA March Madness basketball tournament. After college, he has hopes of playing professionally if the opportunity presents itself.
Coach Adams said, “I expect that he will have a tremendous career at Boston University playing for a dear friend of mine, Head Coach Joe Jones.”