Published Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 12:01 am / Updated at 12:47 am
BASKETBALL
Creighton's Josh Jones to undergo heart procedure; basketball future uncertain

>> Video Below: Wednesday's press conference

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Josh Jones is facing uncertainty concerning his basketball future.

Tests have determined that an atrial flutter caused the Creighton senior guard to black out momentarily before last week's game at Nebraska. Jones, who underwent open heart surgery as a high school senior, will undergo a procedure called a radio frequency ablation at Children's Hospital that will attempt to correct the problem.

“After about a month, they'll do a second procedure and make a determination whether he can return to basketball or if more time is needed,'' Creighton coach Greg McDermott said at a Wednesday press conference. “The good news is that Josh is going to be fine long term.

“He doesn't have to make a decision about basketball right now. And if he does decide he's done playing, he'll have my support 100 percent. The thing is that he does not have to make a decision now.''

Jones has played a key role, mostly as a reserve, since coming to Creighton. He had been averaging about 20 minutes and scoring 7.0 points per game before he became ill.

Speaking publicly for the first time since becoming ill, Jones thanked his coaches, teammates and Creighton fans for the support he has received.

“It's unreal the love I have received,'' Jones said. “People have reached out to me, not only from Bluejay nation but from around the country. I just want to tell them, with or without basketball, I'm still the same Josh Jones. I can still have the same impact.''

Jones, who had to have a valve replaced in his heart in 2007, said he hasn't had any problems since but that he did feel “weird” the day of the Nebraska game.

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“On the bus ride down, I started to go blind in my left eye and I felt dizzy,'' he said. “I wasn't feeling myself, but I was very amped for the game, going back to the Devaney Center where I had won state three times.''

Jones said he didn't go through an intense work during pregame warm-ups but “my heart was beating like a snare drum. We had just started running some layup drills, and the next thing I remember, I was waking up on the ground. I remember thinking, 'My adrenaline is really pumping.''

Shortly after blacking out, Jones decided to return to the locker room. Team medical personnel and others started treatment, and he was taken to a Lincoln hospital, where he remained overnight.

He has been undergoing tests in Omaha since returning home on Friday.

Jones said although he can't play, he plans to remain a key part of the team.

“I'll still support the team,'' he said. “I plan on making the trip to San Francisco with them. I love my teammates.''

McDermott said the best-case scenario at this point would have Jones returning to the team in mid-January.

“The worst-case scenario is that he won't play again, and there are quite a few possibilities in between,'' McDermott said. “But whatever happens, our program will continue to support him.''

Contact the writer:

402-679-2298, steve.pivovar@owh.com; twitter.com/PivOWH

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>> Video: Wednesday's press conference:

Contact the writer: Steven Pivovar

stevepivovar@hotmail.com    |   402-679-2298    |  

Steven Pivovar is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and primarily covers Creighton athletics and the College World Series.

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