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Dahntay Jones: Heart, Skill, and Determination

Dahntay Jones‘ tenure in Fishers, Indiana is tenuous at best. The NBA player arrived in Fishers when he signed with the Indiana Pacers basketball team on July 14, 2009, but it already looks like the player is soon to be traded elsewhere. However, this isn’t because Dahntay Jones is a slacker or a non-team player; in reality, Dahntay Jones puts everything he can into the game, his life, and helping those less fortunate than him. Though he hasn’t quite been successful in Indianapolis, there’s still plenty of time for this NBA player to rise through the ranks and make his mark on the league.

Video highlights of Fishers, Indiana resident and NBA player Dahntay Jones

 

Dahntay Jones was born in Trenton, New Jersey on December 27, 1980. He went to high school at Steinert High School, where he was the star player of the basketball team. During his senior year of high school, he averaged 24 points and 9 rebounds a game on his way to a McDonald’s All-American Honorable Mention. After high school, he originally attended Rutgers University but soon switched to Duke University, where he played top flight college basketball. Jones led the Duke Blue Devils in scoring during his senior year, when he averaged 18 points per game. Jones graduated in 2003 with a degree in Public Policy.

Dahntay Jones entered the NBA draft on the wings of his award winning senior year at Duke University. He was drafted 20th in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, but that team waived their rights to Jones to the Memphis Grizzlies. Jones made his NBA debut with the Grizzlies, racking up an average of 10 points a game in his first season and earning double digit scoring totals five times. Jones spent four seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies and played in several playoff and post-season games with the team. He had a record season in 2007, but the Grizzlies let him go and Jones became a free agent.

Video of Fishers, Indiana resident Dahntay Jones making the NBA’s Dunk of the Week during a game with the Indiana Pacers

 

Again the Celtics showed interest in Dahntay Jones, but again they waived their rights to the Fishers sports figure; eventually Jones was picked up by the Sacramento Kings. He only played 25 games in the 2007-2008 season for the Sacramento Kings before signing with the Denver Nuggets in July of 2008. Dahntay Jones had a career season with the Nuggets, leading the team to one of their best seasons in two decades. He worked his way up to a starter position, eventually starting 71 games for the team. In part thanks to the efforts of Dahntay Jones, the Denver Nuggets reached the NBA Western Conference Finals in 2009.

Video of Fishers, Indiana resident Dahntay Jones slamming a dunk during his time with the Denver Nuggets

 

Despite having a career season in Denver, Dahntay Jones was signed by Larry Bird‘s Indiana Pacers in 2009, precipitating his arrival at Conseco Fieldhouse and his residency in Fishers, Indiana. Jones’ time with the Pacers began well enough; he broke double digits in scoring in fourteen of the first sixteen games of the season, led the Pacers in scoring three times, and had an amazing 46% accuracy from the floor. After those first sixteen games, however, Jones’ output trailed off. Throughout the rest of the 66 games in the season, Jones only broke double digits twenty two times. Dahntay Jones played most of the 82 games in the 2009-2010 season, and he was fourth on the team for blocks. It’s unclear whether or not the Indianapolis sports team aims to keep Dahntay Jones, but so far he has had a reduced role on the team.

Video of Fishers, Indiana resident Dahntay Jones being introduced to the Indiana Pacers by coach Larry Bird

 

Despite being a professional basketball player, Dahnte Jones isn’t all about the sport. In fact, he’s a generous giver to those around him and he’s always willing to lend a hand to those in need. He founded the Dahntay Jones Foundation in 2005, an organization that helps at-risk youth, and in 2006 he donated $16,000 to fund a New Jersey elementary school’s Success for All reading program. After Hurricane Katrina, he played a benefit game in New Orleans and donated tons of toys for hurricane victims. Also, during his time with the Grizzlies, he was a common face on public service announcements for Memphis City Schools Reads and an initiative to curb student fights in local high schools. Dahntay Jones also participates in helping the Indianapolis community through a number of Indianapolis non-profit organizations, including the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund; he played in a celebrity softball game for that organization, a game that also included Indianapolis Colts stars Pierre Garcon, Dwight Freeney, Peyton Manning and Pacers stars Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts.

Though Dahntay Jones hasn’t spent very long in Fishers, Indiana, he makes valuable contributions both on and off the court. He’s played with several teams in the NBA, including the Grizzlies, the Kings, and the Nuggets, but he still seems to be waiting for his breakout season. Along the way he’s helped countless people rebuild their lives after disaster, pull themselves out of difficult situations, or simply gain a brief spot of hope. This famous Fishers person spreads goodwill and good basketball wherever he goes, and Fishers is no exception.

 


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