Local Basketball Star Changes Churches To Win League Championship
Larry Jones is a legend in the Piedmont Church Basketball League. A standout player at a local high school, he blew his knee out during summer workouts on his way to Madison Junior College. He retained his phenomenal shooting form, but he never got his killer first step back.
While his path to the NBA was blocked, he still had the bug. So he stayed connected to the game by working at Foot Locker and playing point guard for his home church team the Grace Nazarene CrossFire. Larry grew up in this church, and the locals love watching him drop 39 a game against the Methodists, Baptists, and Pentecostals. There was even one game when he lit up the Church of Christ Sharp-Shouters for 53. But his time as Grace came to a close after the most recent season.
For all of his efforts, he has only brought home two league championships in 8 years. "I do everything I can. But I couldn't keep carrying this team on my shoulders. I probably only have 24 more years in this league. I had to think about where I have the best chance to win... where my talents will bring back the most return. I think that is a Biblical principle. It was a difficult decision. I had deep roots there. I painted the fellowship hall the summer my knee went out. Deep roots."
This was an especially tough year. "We were the odds on favorites. We had a great regular season, winning eight games and only losing two. I was not playing the two we lost. One was when I was out of town, and the other was when I had to cover at the Locker for a co-worker. Then we got into the tournament and lost to the Crusaders in overtime in the championship game. I don't want to lay blame. But I'm just surrounded by sub-par talent. And they aren't willing to practice every day. I don't know a single champion that doesn't practice every day."
Some around the league are finding fault with Jones' decision to move suggesting that a basketball team isn't a good reason to choose a church. "Haters will hate," says Larry. "I know for a fact that some of the same people finding fault with my decision chose to leave their church because it didn't support missionaries. So I don't want to hear about priorities. We are talking about the league championship here."