Sports : NOTEBOOK / KIRBY LEE : Center Jones to Transfer to Chaffey
Avondre Jones, a 6-foot-11 center who was released in June from his basketball scholarship at USC, is transferring to Chaffey, a community college in Rancho Cucamonga.
Jones, who averaged 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds as a freshman at USC, will be eligible to play this season, a deciding factor in his choice. Jones had considered Missouri, Michigan, Iowa and Louisville.
“Going to a JC will be an advantage in the long run,” Jones said. “I can play right away and focus on playing and lifting weights and doing all those things. After that, I can go anywhere and play.”
Jones was recruited by nearly 100 colleges in 1993 after averaging 21.2 points and 11.7 rebounds as a senior at Artesia High. He played only 13 minutes a game as a freshman at USC and asked for a release from his scholarship, which was granted.
“I didn’t even count last year as a season. I need to play to sharpen my skills,” Jones said. “It’s not going to help me to sit out another season.”
Jones, who played in the Say No Classic summer league at Trade Tech, helped his team Big Time to a league-best 7-1 record and berth in the tournament semifinals.
UCLA’s Ed and Charles O’Bannon, brothers formerly of Artesia, played for league runner-up Team Pasadena ATFB, which lost to Blue Chip, 96-93, in the tournament final. Ed O’Bannon scored 31 points against Blue Chip, which featured Bruin Cameron Dollar and incoming UCLA freshmen Toby Bailey and J.R. Henderson.
Dana Wilkerson of Long Beach State was selected as the women’s most valuable player of the Say No Classic league. Kim Barfield, Melissa Gower and Marshella Hariston of Long Beach were also selected to the all-tournament team.
The 46th annual Catalina Water Ski race is scheduled for 8 a.m. Sunday. More than 130 teams from Australia, England, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand and Canada will race 62 miles from Long Beach to Catalina and back. The event will start next to the Queen Mary in Long Beach harbor.
Mason Thompson of Newport Beach is the course record-holder. Thompson finished the 1987 race in 54 minutes, 56 seconds.
Information: (714) 894-3498 or (310) 420-3085.