Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - The slogan on the back of the camp T-shirt reads "Anything is Possible." In Momo Jones' case that phrase has both a positive and negative conation.
Anything is possible. Like fulfilling half of one dream by playing professional basketball overseas. Anything is possible. Like living through the nightmare of crying your eyes out after the death of a loved one; a son you didn't quite get to meet.
The former Wildcat basketball player who, alongside Derrick Williams, Solomon Hill, and Kevin Parrom, made that Elite Eight run during the 2010-2011 season, is back in the Old Pueblo or as he likes to call it, his adopted home. He's hosting a basketball camp over the next few days for boys and girls of all ages. Watching him coach, one gets subtle glimpses of the kid three years ago who had so much Harlem swagger he'd refer to himself in the third person. Talk to him, however, and you find the kid has grown up. He's found perspective. The hard way.
February 2nd, 2014. Super Bowl Sunday. Momo Jones, a member of the Kumamoto Volters of Japan's National Basketball League, watches television in his living room when he receives a phone call from his wife Mariah. Mariah is a 15.5 hour plane flight away in Los Angeles, California. She is also 9 months pregnant. Due to deliver Lamont Jones Jr. in two weeks. And now she is feeling something. Could be contractions. Could be labor pains. It is neither.
For reasons still unknown to Jones or his wife, Lamont Jones Jr. dies before ever taking a breath just three weeks before his due date on February 24th.
Jones said an event like this brings about a new perspective. A new urgency. To do...something. He started this basketball camp both in his home state of New York and in Tucson as a way to honor his son and as a way to spread a simple message. Don't take things for granted. Family. Life. Love. Or opportunity.
The slogan on the back of the camp T-shirt reads "Anything is Possible." Like wiping away the tears, standing up, and moving forward. Living your life the right way. The way that would make Jr. proud.