FAIRFAX, Va (WDVM) — Blake Jones is not your typical college freshman.
“He’s a really skilled perimeter,” said George Mason men’s basketball assistant coach/Australian Nate Tomlinson. “He’s 6’9”-6’10”, really long, very skilled, and his basketball IQ is of a high level.”
It’s not just the height and knowledge of the game that makes Blake Jones special for George Mason. It’s his experience internationally.
“He’s not a typical freshman,” said Tomlinson. “He has experience playing international basketball. He played in the NBL last year for the Brisbane Bullets.”
The experience doesn’t stop there. Blake also competed for Team Australia in the FIBA U19 World Cup this summer. An experience that was a dream come true.
“Growing up as kids back home in Australia, playing for your country is like the main goal,” said Jones. “It’s what everyone grows up wanting to do. Being able to do that at a junior level, is pretty special.”
Now Blake is getting set for his first season of American ball, and at the age 19, and under former NBA player Kim English, the goals are set high for the Aussie.
“I want to get to the next level,” said Jones. “He’s someone who’s been there. He’s done it before. He knows what it takes and he’ll be able to push me to where I want to go.”
“I really believe Blake is an NBA caliber player,” said Tomlinson. “His ability to shoot, his IQ, his ball handling. When we signed him, those NBA scouts reached out to me and said ‘hey man that’s a great get.’ So he’s on the radar of all those levels, but it’s really up to him. What he puts into the game, he will get back. But, sky’s the limit for Blake Jones.”
George Mason men’s basketball kicks off the season Tuesday night at home against Stony Brook.