Sam Jones June 24, 1933 – December 30, 2021
Sam Jones was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, and attended the famed Laurinburg Institute.
He was a 6- 4 point guard who could run the floor, rebound, and shoot from long range.
He was recruited by the legendary Hall of Fame coach John McLendon to play at North Carolina College where he became a three-time All-CIAA player and four-year letterman. In his senior year, he averaged 18.6 points and 10.7 rebounds under head coach Floyd Brown.
He scored 1,770 points in his college career.
He was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers in the eighth round of the 1956 NBA draft, but after a short military stint but he returned to college.
After graduation from NCCU, the Boston Celtics selected Jones in the first round of the 1957 NBA draft.
In an impressive pro career, Jones played twelve seasons in the NBA with the Celtics, scoring 15,411 points to go along with 2,209 assists and 4,305 rebounds. He was the franchise’s career scoring leader at the time of his retirement in 1969.
Recognized as one of the best shooting guards of his generation, Jones was a five-time All-Star and was named to the All-NBA Second Team three straight years (1965–67).
Jones was one of only six Boston Celtics to have ever scored 50 points in an NBA game.
At the time of his death in 2021, he owned Boston’s sixth-best single-game scoring output (51 points vs. Detroit Pistons on October 29, 1965).
Jones has the second most NBA championships of any player (10), behind only his teammate Bill Russell (11).
Jones was inducted into the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame in 1962. He was the first African American inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and named to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1984.
He is a member of the NBA 25th Anniversary Team (1971), the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996), and the NBA 75th Anniversary Team (2021).
He was part of the inaugural class inducted into the American Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.
He is a member of the NCCU Hall of Fame and CIAA Hall of Fame.
See: Naismith Hall of Fame