Waves' Dana Jones Inducted Into WCC Hall of Honor
March 3, 2012
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Dana Jones, one of Pepperdine's all-time great basketball players, was inducted into the West Coast Conference's Hall of Honor at a ceremony this morning at the Orleans Hotel during the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships.
Jones, the 1993 WCC Player of the Year as a junior and a 2010 inductee into the Pepperdine Athletic Hall of Fame, is one of just a few Waves that played in four consecutive postseasons. He is still Pepperdine's all-time career leader in rebounds (1,031).
During his heartfelt speech, Jones dedicated the award to his four coaches at Pepperdine: then-assistants Marty Wilson (the Waves' current head coach), David Campbell and Steve Aggers and former head coach Tom Asbury.
Jones also thanked the head coach prior to Asbury, Jim Harrick, for leaving to take the UCLA job because "it allowed me to play for Coach Asbury, the best coach in Pepperdine history."
He said that Asbury made three promises to his parents: that Asbury would look after him, that Jones would graduate and that Asbury would call home if Jones ever got out of line.
"He never had to make that call," Jones said.
Jones, who is known for his humble demeanor, began his speech by saying, "This is crazy."
Joining Jones in a stellar class for the conference were Elaine Michaelis (BYU volleyball/administration), Blake Stepp (Gonzaga men's basketball), Billy Bean (Loyola Marymount baseball), Kasey Keller (Portland men's soccer), Tom Candiotti (Saint Mary's baseball), Thomas Burke (San Diego administration), K.C. Jones (San Francisco men's basketball) and Kurt Rambis (Santa Clara men's basketball).
This was the fourth class for the WCC Hall of Honor. Pepperdine's previous inductees were Doug Christie, Gail Hopkins and Wayne Wright.
Before arriving at Pepperdine, Jones was named the Valley's Player of the Year by both the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News after his senior season at North Hollywood High School. He enrolled at Pepperdine in the fall of 1990 and was in the starting lineup for his first game. He came off the bench the next four contests, but returned to the starting lineup after that and stayed there for the remaining 116 games of his collegiate career.
The left-hander's scoring progressively improved each season: 10.0 points per game as a freshman (leading to WCC Freshman of the Year honors) to 11.4 as a sophomore to 15.6 as a junior to 18.4 as a senior. He finished his career with 1,677 points, more than anyone else in Pepperdine history except for Dane Suttle. Though he was just a 6-foot-6 small forward, Jones is the only player in school history to pull down more than 1,000 career rebounds.
Jones was rewarded with WCC Player of the Year honors following a junior season where in addition to his scoring average of 15.6 he led the league with 9.1 rebounds and a 62.0% shooting percentage. He wasn't able to repeat the honor as a senior despite increasing his statistics to 18.4 points and 9.7 rebounds, but did manage his fourth straight All-WCC honor (three times on the first team).
Jones saved some of his best basketball for the postseason, as he became the first player ever to make the WCC Championships' all-tournament team all four seasons (only one other player has done it since). Jones was named MVP of the 1994 event as he averaged 22.0 points and 10.0 rebounds.
He was part of Tom Asbury-coached Pepperdine teams that competed in the postseason all four years: the 1991, 1992 and 1994 NCAA Tournament and the 1993 NIT. Jones contributed to three straight WCC regular-season titles between 1991-93 and three WCC Tournament crowns (1991, 1992 and 1994). Pepperdine went 88-35 during the four seasons.
Jones went to Japan to continue his basketball career, playing for the Sumitomo Sparks, NKK Sea Hawks and Panasonic Kangaroos between 1995-96 and 2000-01. He made the All-Star Team in 1996-97 with the Sparks and was also named the Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league in steals.
His career was cut short by injury, but rehabilitation put him on course for his next career, as Jones went into the field of physical therapy. He has two children (Taylor and Miro) and resides in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Jones graduated from Pepperdine in 1995 with a degree in sociology.