UT hoops star fighting leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center

Thursday, March 08, 2018 07:15PM
UT basketball player battling leukemia to play again


HOUSTON, Texas - It's the video that has been seen around the world: University of Texas guard Andrew Jones shooting hoops inside M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as he continues to fight the disease. Not long before the video was shot, Andrew was unable to move.

"The first couple weeks of being diagnosed, I didn't say a word," Jones recalled.

It was a shock to Jones when he was told in January that he had acute leukemia.

"Cancer is like the biggest fear anyone could ever have (because) you know there is no guarantee of survival," he said.

Before his diagnosis Jones was at the height of his college basketball career. He was in between games and didn't have a clue he had blood cancer.

"I felt a little winded, didn't feel like myself, and I didn't know why," he said.

Jones went to the emergency room and was told he had a viral infection, but yet, after another game, Jones felt worse.

"My legs were tingling so I knew that was a sign something had to be really wrong," he said.

Blood results eventually showed he had cancer.

"I started crying," he remembers. "It hurt, you know, I felt like I had a pain in my stomach. I didn't know anything about (leukemia)."

When he finally arrived at M.D. Anderson, his doctor said he was in bad shape.

"He was in ICU, on oxygen and he could not move," said Dr. Elias Jabbour.

Dr. Jabbour made it his mission to get Jones back on the court, so knowing he had a passion for basketball, he used it to motivate him to beat cancer just like he would beat any other team on the court.

"We built a team, myself and Andrew, his family," said Jabbour. "(We) had one goal: we want to beat cancer."

"Dr. Jabbour is really what gave me the motivation to keep fighting because he was telling me, 'I will cure you,'" said Jones

Jones continues to score those shots against cancer. He's focused, determined and vowing not to give up. He's waiting for the day he will be able to suit up and meet his next opponent on the court.

"It's going to be something I ain't never felt before. I'm going to have an appreciation of life because, you know, tomorrow is never promised," he said.
(Copyright ©2018 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.)
Outbrain