Verdell Jones signs pro contract with Greek team

Verdell Jones III had braced himself for the possibility that he’d played his final high-level basketball game. He acknowledged last spring, toward the end of his career at Indiana that his best hope for professional basketball was probably Europe and that there was a chance his best bet would be to simply go to work with his degree in international business.

And he said all of that before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.

But throughout his rehab, the 1,000-point scorer has worked as though he would play again and he learned on Tuesday that he will. Jones signed a contract with Athens-based Dash Peristeri GS, in Greece’s A1 League.

“I got a text from my agent this morning at 8 a.m.,” Jones said. “He said, ‘Call me as soon as possible.’ I got a hold of him and he said, ‘I’ve got a great team that’s looking at you. They like your game and they’re willing to help you rehab your knees.’ So we started talking to them and started negotiating.”

Jones was thrilled to find a team that would be willing to take the risk, because he isn’t game-ready yet. Jones tore the ACL at the beginning of March and didn’t have surgery until the end of the month after the Hoosiers’ Sweet 16 run. He said he can finally work in some halfcourt games, but hasn’t been able to play full-court 5-on-5, though he hopes to do that next week.

“It’s huge,” Jones said of finding a team that would take him with his injury. “I had a lot of teams that were interested, but they weren’t going to risk paying a guy coming off an ACL injury all this money. It’s really a blessing for this opportunity to come up.”

Jones said he will leave for Greece on Aug. 27 and hopes to be full-go or close to it by then.

7 comments

  1. For all the abuse we gave VJIII during his time at IU, we forget how loyal he was in sticking with the program in our darkest hour. After Lyle’s BS today, I appreciate VJIII even more!!!!

  2. If he is a one-and-done guy, he may be looking at Kentucky. But he has to realize, that if you are talented enough to be a one-and-done player, you will be there no matter where you play. I’m hopeful that it is just that, him wanting to experience the recruiting process more and be able to compare IU to other places. And I’m confident that he will find out…..that nothing compares to INDIANA!!!!

  3. Idk how that comment got on here, instead of the Lyles one. I replied right after reading the other story……I don’t see a delete option

  4. ARUSS, I supported VJ all season long. He was there all during the big wins during the season. Good luck to him and any family members during his pro career.

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