APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — He won a high school state championship, an NCAA title and on Wednesday, his hometown rolled out the red carpet for him.
Apple Valley welcomed home one of the best basketball players in the history of its city, declaring Wednesday “Tyus Jones Day.” There was an event at Apple Valley City Hall, where Jones received a key to the city.
The celebration then included a parade to Apple Valley High School, where there was a celebration to recognize Jones’s NCAA basketball title with Duke. Jones was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding player. Jones came home to help throw out the first pitch at the Twins home opener, and the next day he made it official that he was leaving Duke after his freshman year to declare for the NBA Draft.
Jones’s No. 21 jersey was retired at Apple Valley on Wednesday in an emotional return to his hometown. He won a state championship there as a junior and said he carried those accomplishments to Duke. He got overwhelmed with emotion while thinking his teachers, coaches and teammates.
“Lastly I’d like to thank my family. It means more than words can explain to me,” Jones said.
The NBA Draft will be held June 25. Jones is projected to be anywhere between a middle to late first-round pick. He would be the first Minnesota-born basketball player to be drafted since Kris Humphries in 2004.