Basketball For Life

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    Jim Jones, after winning his 700th game as a boys varsity basketball coach, acknowledged applause from the crowd during the Class 1A sectional Tuesday night at Springs Valley High School. Jones, 76, has been coaching varsity hoops since 1962 and is one of only seven coaches in state history to reach 700 victories. He and his wife, Joyce, live in Jasper. Heather Rousseau/The Herald

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    Jones shouted orders during a drill to practice rebounding during a practice Feb. 20. Jones has led Valley to at least 10 victories in back-to-back seasons for the first time in more than 20 years. Heather Rousseau/The Herald

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    Jones, left, chatted with assistant coach and longtime friend Butch Emmons, during practice Feb. 20. Emmons was a student manager for Jones’ first team at Valley. He agreed to return under the condition that Emmons would be his assistant. Heather Rousseau/The Herald

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    Larry Bird gave Jones his ring when he retired from the Boston Celtics in 1992. Jones coached Bird at Springs Valley and the two remain friends. Jones is welcome at Indiana Pacers practices, where Bird oversees the organization as team president. Heather Rousseau/The Herald

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    Jones organized paperwork in his office after practice Feb. 20. The office includes memorabilia from Larry Bird, whom Jones coached during Bird’s career at Springs Valley. The two remain friends and communicate by text message at least once a week. Heather Rousseau/The Herald

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    Jones studied a game tape as his wife, Joyce, watched the Indiana Pacers on Sunday in French Lick. Though Jim and Joyce live in Jasper, they sometimes stay overnight in the home of a friend who spends winters in Arizona. Joyce said when she and Jim watch the Pacers, Jim tires to coach the team. “Sometimes I think she thinks I get a little too vocal. But I think I am a typical fan who voices my opinion.” Heather Rousseau/The Herald

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    Jones prepared in the locker room before a Feb. 8 game at Northeast Dubois. Jones prepares scouting reports from an office in his Jasper home but still travels to watch future opponents play in person. Heather Rousseau/The Herald

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    Heather Rousseau/ The Herald Coach Jim Jones gave directions to his team while competing against Northeast Dubois in Dubois on Saturday, February 8, 2014. Spring Valley lost the game that night 67-46. Jones gives each of his players grades on how they did for each game.

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    Jones smiled at his team Feb. 8 at Northeast Dubois. Players call him old-school but appreciate his humor. Among his sayings: He suggests they “take that teenage attitude and stick in your elbow.” Heather Rousseau/The Herald

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    Jones led a prayer before the Feb. 8 game at Northeast Dubois. The Blackhawks pray before and after every game. Heather Rousseau/The Herald

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    Jones yelled instructions during Springs Valley’s game Feb. 8 at Northeast Dubois. Jones was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and has coached at Springs Valley, Princeton and Terre Haute North. He left retirement in 2012 to return to Valley, where he began his career in 1962. Heather Rousseau/The Herald

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    Heather Rousseau/ The Herald Coach Jim Jones reacted after being pleased with a play by Springs Valley against Northeast Dubois on Saturday, February 8, 2014.

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    Jones looked down the bench during the second half of Tuesday’s sectional victory over Crothersville. The win, the 700th of Jones’ career, prompted chants from the Springs Valley student body and shirts marked “Jones 700.” Jones’ teams at Valley, Princeton and Terre Haute North averaged nearly 15 wins per season. His teams have also won 25 sectional championships; only two coaches have won more. Heather Rousseau/The Herald