Decorey Jones is a 24 year old 198cm forward that will be starting his third professional season and first for the Moncton Miracles (Canada-NBL Canada). He started his basketball career with Bossier-Parish CC (NJCAA) and then played his last two seasons of college ball with Faulkner (NAIA). He has been a professional since 2012, but has played in countries like Malaysia, Mongolia and Spain. In 2012 he first played for the Conyers Court Kings (WBA). He then played for the Crouching Tigers (Malaysia-MNBL) playing 8games: 16.2 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 40.2 FG%, 45.5 3PT%, 65.5 FT%. Then he played fort he BZ Bulls (Mongolia-MBA) averaging 25.2 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.4 BPG, 51.4 FG%, 42.5 3PT%, 76.9 FT%. Last season he played for CB Virgen de La Concha Zamora (Spain-EBA): 17 games: 10.6ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 62.5%; Spanish EBA: 17 games: 22:56 Mins, 10,6 PPG, 53,4% FG, 25% 3PT, 62,5% FT, 5.8 RPG, 0.4 APG, 1,2 SPG, 0,6 BP. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Decorey thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
I am Currently In South Carolina working out with my Trainers, This summer has been awesome, I got a chance to run my 2nd Annual Hoops & Christ Camp along with assisting with other camps across the U.S, visited family I haven’t seen in years, and training this summer was very productive and efficient improving myself as a player.
You seem to have the ultimate basketball fairytale coming from an NAIA and having a steady professional basketball career since years. Does it feel like a fairytale for you sometimes?
I’m so thankful and blessed God has allowed me to play the game I love for a career. Not many get to do it after college especially coming from where I have. Yes sometimes when I’m clearing my mind and thinking back on life, I am still amazed how far I have come!
The perfect title for you would be, From the NAIA to professional basketball globetrotting life. If you had to name a book after your life how would you do it?
I would title the book “Underrated” I have been the underdog my whole life, always having to proving myself to get to where I wanted to be.
Are you the perfect example of how hard work, faith and skills can help you reach your dreams of playing basketball for a living?
I definitely am, hard work pays off and I knew I could reach my dreams if I dedicated 100% of everything I had into it no matter what people thought about me or where I came from. Faith without work is Dead! Praying is a key ingredient to my success and anyone else’s, but if you don’t work hard you will find doors of opportunity don’t open up for you when you knock!
As a senior you averaged only 6.6 PPG 3.6 RPG at Faulkner. Are you at times surprised how far you have come in only a few years?
I knew I could put up good numbers and make it far if I was given the opportunity to play my game, a lot of players get overlooked because of the system they are playing in. Much respect to my college coach, but under his system I had a role to play and that’s exactly what I did.
You obviously have what it takes as a professional as you have played in Spain, Mongolia and Malaysia. How important was Faulkner head coach Jim Sanderson in getting you prepared to enter the world of professional basketball?
Coach Sanderson changed me on and off the court. He developed my mental toughness which was a weakness in my game. We were the hardest working program in America and coming to his program changed my whole mindset as a player. Hard work is all I know now! He gave me the tools I needed to play anywhere in the world teaching me post moves, footwork, developing my speed and strength, and defending 6’9s and up sometimes. I am a Guard, and coach gave me the tools to be the complete package!
What has helped you in general to be able to get so quickly adjusted to a new country?
Just being open and trying out new things, I love new cultures and practicing their ways of doing things, you find out when you do it they’re way things go smoother when you’re on their turf.
Wherever you have played so far as a professional, you have put up good stats. How important has mindset been for you to come into new situations and bear all circumstances around you no matter how difficult it was?
This is my Job! If I don’t produce I don’t get paid, basketball is how I survive. So in every country I go to my mindset is to go 100% in everything I do and present myself well, because each year is important to me if I want to continue to move up the ladders of a professional.
Two seasons ago you played for BZ Bulls (Mongolia-MBA) averaging 25.2 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.4 BPG, 51.4 FG%, 42.5 3PT%, and 76.9 FT%. You are the first guy I have ever known to play in Mongolia. I didn´t even know they had a league. What kind of experience was it playing there and what one experience will you always remember in your life concerning the country?
My experience there was a roller coaster ride! The weather conditions and language barrier was extremely tough for me to adjust to. Playing there as great because of the fan support. What I remember the most was playing in the ALL- Star game winning the MVP, and the Dunk contest! In front of 8,000 plus in attendance.
Last season you made a step up the professional ladder playing in the fourth Spanish division with CB Virgen de La Concha Zamora (Spain-EBA) playing 17 games and averaging10.6ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 62.5%. Was the style and level very much higher than in Mongolia and Malaysia?
It was much higher, and a completely different style of play. I had to adjust to the Fiba rules, and also adjust to the speed of the game, running more systems and coming to more of a “team based” structure.
There were only two imports with yourself and Nikola Bodic from Serbia. How were you able to develop your game further there and how as the transition coming from the east to the European style of play?
I was able to develop my game tremendously coming to Europe, Nikola actually taught me some of his European moves and tricks he does to help him compete at a high level. I took a little from him, and also just from just playing. My basketball IQ is on another level also, Europe runs a lot of systems and having to learn so many plays developed my awareness on the offensive and defensive end of the court.
This season you are headed back to North America to play for the Moncton Miracles (Canada-NBL Canada). This is a solid league, but are you a bit disappointed that you can´t stay in Europe?
Not disappointed at all, im playing the game I love for a living and Canada is close to home, and it is like you said a solid league. This year will give me great exposure to showcase my skills.
Do you see this as a minor setback as you seemed to have a leg into the European door?
No not at all, a lot of guys who played in this league in the past have gone on to play in top leagues after. I know this is the right move for my career.
The scouting report on you is extensive. You can score in a variety of ways. He is a great long-range shooter and can also take his man into the post and score over him. Can also score off the dribble and on pull-up jumpers. Is also a good free throw shooter, Great rebounder. Extremely long arms allow him to grab steals and block shots. He has a 6’8″ wingspan. Jones has the ability to put the ball on the floor and go coast to coast and is unstoppable in the open court transition game finishing strong at the basket with his freakish athleticism. He has experience at the 2-4 positions and is always willing to adjust his game to the role his coach assigns him. With all this said and done, what is a hidden strength in your game that isn´t always recognized right away when one sees you play on the court?
I am the spark! I make plays to get the momentum of the game going our way. This has been my hidden talent since I started playing basketball, coming into the game and providing energy my teammates can feed off of.
What do you know about German basketball and the country? I know that you know guys like Patrick Richard, Diego Kaplen and Chuck Eidson. How big is your desire to one day play in Germany?
I know all about German basketball It is a great country for basketball, it’s a country I wanted to go my whole life, and it’s still a big dream of mine.
You work out in the off season with Chuck Eidson. He made it to the big time coming from Giessen and moving to top European power house team Rytas, Macabbi Tel Aviv and FC Barcelona and has 78 Euroleague games experience. How much of an inspiration has his basketball story been?
He has been a huge inspiration to me, knowing where he started, and now today is playing in Euroleague. He motivates me in so many ways, knowing that I can do the same thing if I get to the right team, and get seen at the right time!
How has he helped you become a better player?
Chuck and I play pick up ball and train at his old High School Pinewood every Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, every chance I get I guard him studying his moves and the decisions he makes on the court, and also chatting on the sideline with him getting veteran advice on the business standpoint of the game.
You are a very religious person. How present is Jesus Christ not only in your normal life, but also in your basketball life?
Jesus Christ is why I am able to be interviewed today! He is the heart of everything I do in life! both on and off the court. God will show you things you couldn’t even imagine; when you put him first he will give you the desires of your heart. I am a living testimony he is present coming from where I came from!
You obviously are living the dream being professional, but what is your ultimate basketball dream?
My ultimate basketball dream is to be able to have my own basketball academy for the youth. Hosting camps, tournaments, and recreation for kids to have something to do to keep them off the streets!
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
“Bound” an overseas documentary you can view on youtube. Great educational tool for life and basketball overseas!
Thanks Decorey for the chat.