Former NBA and Albany State basketball player Caldwell Jones passed away on Sunday, September 21st. He was 64 years old.
Jones was born on August 4, 1950 in McGehee, Arkansas. A standout player at Desha Central High School, he received acclaim as one of the legendary Jones Brothers which also included Charles, Major, Melvin (also deceased), Oliver and Wilbert. The Jones Family is widely recognized as the only family to produce six brothers who played professional basketball, including four who played in the NBA. All six brothers attended Albany State.
Jones played for ASU from 1969-1973. During that time, he tallied a total 2,237 points and almost 2,000 rebounds. The Golden Rams garnered a four-year record of 80-31 and won the 1973 SIAC Men’s Basketball Championship with the 7’2 Jones playing center. During his senior season, Jones played for his brother Oliver, who had taken over as head coach. The team finished with a 23-6 record.
Because of his stellar play at Albany State, Jones was selected 32nd overall in the second round of the 1973 NBA draft. For the first three years of his professional career, Jones played in the American Basketball Association (ABA) with the San Diego Conquistadors (1973-1975), San Diego Sails (ABA), Kentucky Colonels (1975) and Spirits of St. Louis (1975-1976). During the 1973-74 season, he led the ABA in blocked shots. He also played in the 1975 ABA All-Star Game.
Jones then made his move to the NBA and became a member of the high-powered Philadelphia 76ers teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Playing alongside Julius Erving and a host of other stars, Jones was known as a defensive specialist because of his rebounding, shot blocking and pesky position defense. He was a two-time selection to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team. Jones’ hustle, rebounding, and defense helped him produce a 17-year professional basketball career.
From 1982-1990, Jones played for the Houston Rockets (1982-1984), Chicago Bulls (1984-1985), Portland Trail Blazers (1985-1989) and San Antonio Spurs (1989-1990). As a Houston Rocket, Jones received the opportunity to play with his brother Major. During his career, he gathered 10,241 points, 10,685 rebounds and 2,297 blocks.
In 1999, Jones joined Alice Coachman-Davis, Robert C. Marshall, Robert Cross, Obie O’Neal and Dr. Billy C. Black as the first class to be inducted into the Albany State University Sports Hall of Fame.