Phillip Charles George Jones (born 25 January 1974)[1] is a New Zealand former professional basketball player. He played in Finland, Italy and Australia, but is best known for his 22 seasons with the Nelson Giants in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL). He also played for 14 years for the New Zealand national team.

Phill Jones
Personal information
Born (1974-01-25) 25 January 1974 (age 49)
Christchurch, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealand
Listed height196 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Listed weight90 kg (198 lb)
Career information
High school
Playing career1993–2017
PositionShooting guard
Coaching career2016–2019
Career history
As player:
1993–1998Nelson Giants
1999Otago Nuggets
2000–2004Nelson Giants
2001–2002Honka Espoo
2003–2004New Zealand Breakers
2006Nelson Giants
2007–2009New Zealand Breakers
2008–2017Nelson Giants
2009–2011Cairns Taipans
As coach:
2016Nelson Sparks
2017; 2019Nelson Giants (assistant)
Career highlights and awards

Early life edit

Born in Christchurch,[2] Jones grew up in Reefton, where he attended Inangahua College.[3] In 1992, Jones moved to Nelson to play high school basketball at Nelson College.[4]

Professional career edit

Jones debuted in the New Zealand NBL in 1993. He played six seasons for the Nelson Giants between 1993 and 1998, winning championships in 1994 and 1998. After a season in Finland with Kouvot, where he won a championship in the Korisliiga in the 1998–99 season, Jones played for the Otago Nuggets in 1999. He returned to the Giants in 2000 and played every year until 2004.[5]

Jones returned to Kouvot in Finland for the 2000–01 season and then split the 2001–02 season with Honka Espoo and Kouvot. He played the 2002–03 season in Italy with Oregon Scientific Cantù.[6] For the 2003–04 season, Jones joined the New Zealand Breakers for their inaugural season in the Australian National Basketball League (NBL). After one season with the Breakers, Jones spent three straight seasons in Italy with Cantù between 2004 and 2007.

After not playing in the 2005 New Zealand NBL season, Jones re-joined the Giants in 2006. He then missed the 2007 New Zealand NBL season and thus missed out on the Giants' championship.[7]

Between 2007 and 2009, Jones played another two seasons for the Breakers[8] and was named the NBL Best Sixth Man for the 2008–09 season.[9] Between 2009 and 2011, he played for the Cairns Taipans[10] and helped them reach the grand final series in the 2010–11 season.

Jones played every season for the Giants between 2008 and 2017.

In May 2014, Jones played his 350th game for the Giants[11] and set the NZNBL's all-time record for games played with his 362nd game.[12][13][14] He finished the 2014 season with 369 games.[15]

Jones initially retired in 2014[16] and became the Giants' managing director.[17][18] However, in March 2015, he came out of retirement and re-joined the Giants roster.[19][20][21] He continued on with the Giants in 2016 as well.[22] In 2016, he passed 7,000 points for his NZNBL career[23] and became the first player in New Zealand NBL history to reach 400 games.[24][25]

Jones retired again in 2016[26] and became an assistant coach for the Giants in 2017.[27][28] He was also appointed the Giants' director of operations.[29] However, in May 2017, Jones played two final games for the Giants, ending his NZNBL career with 408 games.[30][31]

Jones' number 13 jersey was retired twice by the Giants, firstly in June 2014[32] and then again in June 2017.[33]

In May 2022, Jones was inducted into the Basketball New Zealand Hall of Fame.[34]

Coaching career edit

In 2016, Jones served as head coach of the Nelson Sparks in New Zealand's Women's Basketball Championship (WBC).[35][36] He served as assistant coach for the Nelson Giants in 2017[27] and 2019.[37]

National team career edit

In June 2008, after playing for the Tall Blacks for 14 years, Jones retired from international basketball.[38]

Personal life edit

Jones is the son of John and Carol Jones, and has a brother named Johnno.[32] He and his wife Kat have three children.[7][39] His son Hayden debuted with the Nelson Giants in 2023 as a 16-year-old.[40]

References edit

  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Phil Jones". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020.
  2. ^ Phill Jones Breakers profile
  3. ^ Basketball: The top shot who kept growing
  4. ^ Giants' blue blood admits end is nigh
  5. ^ Nelson Giants – player stats
  6. ^ Basketball: Tall Black makes winning debut in Italy
  7. ^ a b Nelson Giants' Phill Jones to stand alone in NBL
  8. ^ Originals Return
  9. ^ "Jones is NBL's best super-sub". 9 March 2009. Archived from the original on 10 March 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  10. ^ Phill Jones signs with Taipans
  11. ^ Southland Sharks spoil party for Giants legend
  12. ^ Jones to tie record Archived 18 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Giants down the Jets in Palmerston North
  14. ^ Jones gets win in special occasion
  15. ^ Saints outshine Giants to reach NBL final
  16. ^ 'Cut me and I bleed blue', says retiring Jones
  17. ^ Veteran Vukona stays glued to Giants' cause
  18. ^ A humble Giant amongst sports legends talks sponsorship, retiring and community
  19. ^ Much-travelled American Kareem Johnston joins Wellington Saints
  20. ^ Jones Comes Out Of Retirement
  21. ^ It's game on comeback kid Phill Jones
  22. ^ National Basketball League shaping as three-horse race for title
  23. ^ Jones achieves 7000-point milestone in stellar NBL career
  24. ^ Canterbury Rams' third quarter blitz stuns Nelson Giants
  25. ^ Nelson Giants legend Phill Jones' 400th NBL game ends in defeat
  26. ^ Giants nab three time NBL champion
  27. ^ a b Supercity Rangers edge Nelson Giants in NBL clash to tighten top-four claims
  28. ^ Tom Ingham makes the most of rare start for Nelson Giants
  29. ^ Phill Jones looks on the bright side in wake of difficult NBL season for Giants
  30. ^ "HAWKS WIN SECOND STRAIGHT". 6 May 2017. Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  31. ^ "Player statistics for Phil Jones". NZNBL. Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  32. ^ a b Giants legend Phill Jones' final home hurrah
  33. ^ Phill Jones 'humbled' with No 13 retirement
  34. ^ "BBNZ AWARDS CELEBRATES 2021 WITH 29 AWARDS RECOGNISED". 7 May 2022. Archived from the original on 8 May 2022.
  35. ^ Nelson Giants coach Tim Fanning wants legend Phill Jones back for another season
  36. ^ Nelson Sparks fall short of top six finish at Women's Basketball Championship
  37. ^ "Giants vs Mountainairs". 13 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  38. ^ Basketball: Phil Jones retires from international basketball
  39. ^ More parents want three
  40. ^ Hinton, Marc (8 April 2023). "Father and son: Kiwi hoops legend Phill Jones passes the NBL torch to next generation". Retrieved 9 April 2023.

External links edit