Bob Jones III, chancellor of Bob Jones University, announced his intent to join the Bruins men’s basketball team as a walk-on for the 2022-2023 season after the Bruins placed fifth in the NCCAA DII National Tournament this year.
The announcement comes after Jordan Michael, a senior sports management major, discovered Jones working on his shot late one night in the DFH.
“I was sweeping up after a society basketball game and I heard someone dribbling on the main court,” Michael said. “I was gonna go kick him out.”
But when he realized it was Jones, he was surprised. “I was shocked to see Bob Jones III down there,” he said. “I didn’t even realize he played basketball.” But another student witnessed something even more surprising.
“I was running back to the DFH to get my headband and tear-away warm up pants because I forgot them after my game,” said Josh Fox, a senior information technology major and the center for the Beta Gamma Delta Patriots Basketball C team. “When I got there, all the lights were off, but I heard a swish.”
When he walked to the court to see what the sound was, Fox saw Jones retrieve a basketball from under the net and dribble to the corner of the three-point arch. Fox then witnessed Jones swish 17 three-pointers in a row. “I was speechless,” said Fox.
Steve Pettit, president of BJU, expressed doubt after the announcement. “I’m a little dubious about Dr. Bob’s basketball skills. If he were that good, he would have joined my team in a heartbeat,” Pettit said, referring to the faculty fundraiser basketball game held during Bible Conference.
“I’ve never seen him play,” said Pippen Scottie, a junior bagpipe performance major and forward for the Bruins men’s basketball team. “But maybe he’ll surprise us.”
Jackson Phil, the assistant coach for the Bruins men’s basketball team, was also caught off guard by Jones’ announcement. “There’s no scouting reports; he just showed up out of nowhere,” said Phil. “This guy is really going to be a toss-up, but we’ve got some time to work.”
But Jones knows what he can bring to the court, and with the Bruins losing some seniors, adding Jones to the roster will bring a few years of life experience and some wisdom to the team.
“Basketball is partly mental,” Jones said. “I thought I could help with the mental part. Our Bruins guys are doing really well with the athleticism. I thought I could bring some acuity.”
In addition, Jones played for four years at Bob Jones Academy and has a high school championship under his belt. “I guess you could say I’ve been practicing for this for 70 years,” he said.
Jones has a passion for basketball and looks up to some of the greatest basketball teams of all time. “I’m inspired by the Harlem Globetrotters,” he said. “That’s where I get my style from.”