• Orange Mound to the NBA: Former Melrose standout signs with Los Angeles Lakers

    By: Ben Rainwater

    Updated:

    Memphis native and Melrose High School product Jemerrio Jones got the call up of a lifetime the 23-year-old basketball player has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Jones who is a 6-foot-5 forward has one of the most unique stories you will find in sports.

    “He still made a touchdown after life tackled him,” Jermaine Johnson told FOX13.

    PHOTOS: Former Melrose standout signs contract with Los Angeles Lakers

    Johnson is the Associate Head Coach at University of Tennessee-Martin, but he was the head coach at Melrose when Jones played for the Golden Wildcats. 

    Johnson said the pair had a close bond.

    “He was like my son,” Johnson explained.


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    Jemerrio Jones tore his ACL during his junior season in a game against East High School. He never got surgery or did rehab, according to his coach.

    “It was a miracle that he healed on his own,” Johnson said.

    During his senior year, Jermaine Johnson left Melrose and Jemerrio Jones soon dropped out of school.

    He earned his GED and enrolled at Hill Junior College, as a two-star recruit.

    At Hill, Jones became a double-double machine. After two years at JUCO including a season in which his team finished third in the NJCAA National Tournament he earned a scholarship to New Mexico State University.

    According to his school bio, Jones was the team’s sixth man during the 2016-17 season that included a WAC Tournament championship and an NCAA Tournament birth.

    The next season, Jones led NM State back to the NCAA Tournament and was named the WAC Player of the Year averaging 11.3 points and 14.1 rebounds per game. His rebound total ranked second in the entire NCAA, according to NBA.com.

    Jones went undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft, but he’s played in nearly 50 games for the South Bay Lakers NBA G-League team this season.

    The Los Angeles Lakers opted to sign Jones to a 10-day contract on Sunday.

    “He went from GED… to working for Magic Johnson and playing alongside LeBron James,” Johnson said. “He had blind faith and a support system that never gave up on him.

    In a tweet from the South Bay Lakers, Jones is quoted as saying, “I come from nothing. I come from the struggle, so I know what it takes.

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