Springfield, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame celebrates the life and mourns the passing of legendary Boston Celtic Sam Jones. Enshrined as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984, Mr. Jones has passed away at the age of 88.
“Sam Jones was as much of a one-of-a-kind athlete as he was an individual,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “As one of the greatest champions in American sports history, Sam embodied what it means to be a winner both on and off the court. He was natural scorer and will forever be one the most clutch performers the game has ever seen. He will be tremendously missed by the entire Hall of Fame family.”
At 6-foot-4, Sam Jones was the prototype of the tall guard. He could run the floor, bang the boards, and his rangy offensive game caused fits in his opponents. As a collegian, Jones was an offensive firehouse scoring 1,770 points while playing for Hall of Fame coach John McLendon at all-black North Carolina Central College. His senior season saw the fiery guard average a double-double in points and rebounds. His scoring aptitude continued and in the NBA he averaged over 17 points a game for his career. Always steady, always on top of his game, Sam Jones was a winner. One half of the "Jones Boys" of Boston, Sam teamed with K.C. Jones in the Celtics backcourt to create havoc in NBA arenas around the country. Jones favored an unorthodox but highly effective bank shot that became the muscle behind his and Boston's ten NBA championships, including eight in a row from 1959 to 1966.
He received several accolades throughout his storied career, including being the first African American inducted into the North Carolina Hall of Fame in 1969, as well being named to the NBA 25th Anniversary Team as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996, as well as the 75th Anniversary Team in 2021. His jersey No. 24 was retired by the Celtics in 1969.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.com, follow @hoophall @hoophallclassic or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.