New Basketballer at West: Coach Jones, Worldwide Hooper


Coach Jones posing for a picture.

By Luca Hatzopoulos, Staff Developer and Social Media Manager

From the hardwood of Barcelona to the weight room of Niles West High School, Garrett Jones is prepared to teach the JV girls’ basketball team a thing or two about basketball. Coach Jones played college basketball at the University of New Hampshire for two years and then transferred out to Hillsdale College in Michigan to finish out his remaining college academic and athletic careers. He then moved on to play professional basketball in Barcelona for two years before ultimately coming back to Illinois and getting his Master’s in Education at North Park University.

Since coming to West, Jones has been named JV girls’ basketball head coach as well as earning himself a teaching job in the physical welfare department. Jones is teaching three freshman P.E. classes and two strength and conditioning classes. He’s looking forward to being able to connect with his students and players in this new school year.

“As a coach I’m most excited about getting to know all my players, helping them grow not only as basketball players but as young women who will be ready to take on any task that’s in front of them,” Jones said. “As a teacher I’m most excited about being in the building, back in person with students and also just helping them each day, working not only on physical health but their mental health as well. Both go hand and hand so being able to leave a positive impact, [supplying] tools and knowledge they can take and use outside of the classroom, those are the things I’m really excited about.”

Jones is looking forward to helping develop the girls’ basketball program here at West and has a lot of hope for this year’s upcoming season.

“My goal this season is for the girls to just get better each day we have. Of course we all want to win but it starts with what happens during practice. Building positive habits, knowing what we need to accomplish each day, giving great effort and building together as a team. Keeping those small goals in mind will only bring great things to our program and I’m certain we can do it,” Jones said.

Basketball summer camp going into the 21-22 school year was when Jones was introduced to the program. Many girls grew excited at the realization that we found someone to replace coach Gary Gustafson, the old JV girls basketball assistant coach. He worked a lot with a plethora of girls from each grade level, even though he was introduced towards the end of the summer camp. Many of the girls enjoyed the extra work that was put into practice and summer league games with coach Jones.

“I’m so glad coach Jones joined us for the last part of summer league and summer camp. He made playing games and going to practices so much more enjoyable. Even though he won’t be my coach this winter season, it was such a blast working with him throughout this summer,” junior Aashi Shah said.

“I’m very excited to have him as my coach this year. During summer camp he was a great role model and someone to learn from because he has such great things to say and helped develop us as players even with the short time we had with him. I’m excited to improve as a basketball player with him as my coach this season,” sophomore Vaughn Hollern said.

If you’re interested in working with coach Jones, girls basketball tryouts are on Monday, Nov. 1st, after school. Join the team and get to spend all of the winter basketball season getting to know him!