What’s Next For Jay Jones

Dylan Thayer | Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

What’s Next For Jay Jones

Just last week, it was announced that 2024 guard Jay Jones, from the Rivers School & Middlesex Magic grassroots program, would be committing to joining Penn in the recruiting class of 2025 and reclassifying as a postgrad at Cushing Academy.


The move to the class of 2025 did not come as much of a surprise to those around Jay, as he had reportedly been considering the shift for some time to gain an extra year to acclimate to the pace of the college game and improve upon his skills.


“I chose Cushing because Coach Cormier seemed like the perfect balance of looking to win while also preparing me to make an impact in my freshman year at Penn. Taking another year, I’m mainly focusing on seeing how much better I can get while also competing against high-level competition,” said Jay Jones in discussions with me about his decision to spend another year developing his game.


Over the past few years, Jones has done nothing but win. He has helped Rivers take home three consecutive NEPSAC Class B championships, while also assisting his Middlesex Magic team in winning both a 16U and 17U title on the Under Armour Next Circuit the past two summers.


Jones with his Rivers teammates after winning the Class B title this season.


In discussions with Rivers head coach Keith Zalaski, he had high praise for the 6-4 guard: “Jay has immersed himself in the Rivers community, our basketball program, and his own development. He’s a winner in every way, and people naturally gravitate toward him,” speaking on the leadership Jay has brought to the team.


Coach Zalaski went on to say, “He’s made a significant impact on our team and our school, and I’m excited to see him step into the next challenge with the same mentality he had when he came here three years ago.”


Jones comes from quite the basketball family, which may contribute to his winning pedigree and tireless work ethic, as both his father, Joe, and his uncle, James, are Division One coaches in the New England area. Joe is currently the head coach at Boston University – a position he has held since 2011, having previously served as the head coach at Columbia from 2003-2010.


James is the current head coach at Yale and has held that position for the past 25 years, winning numerous Ivy League regular-season titles and making four NCAA Tournament bids throughout his tenure.


Jay’s game is one that we have seen a lot of throughout the years in the New England ranks. He is a smooth scoring guard with a consistent, fluid release that allows him to knock down shots from all around the floor. Additionally, he brings next-level playmaking vision to create opportunities for others, positions his body well to contribute on the boards, plus uses his length and timing to make a defensive impact.


His improving game is destined for success at the NCAA level, and the fit with Penn is perfect according to Jay himself: “When it came down to my final couple of schools, Penn stood out in what I was looking for. Once I visited, I knew that was the place I wanted to be, and it checked all the boxes.”


He went on to say, “Talking with Coach Donahue about where he sees me fitting into what they’re doing at Penn made me excited about what they have. I could tell he truly believed in me and my game.”


Joining Steve Donahue’s system at Penn, which is known for its offensive efficiency and taking smart shots, is a seamless fit for Jay and one that we are eager to see in the years to come.