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Still in the game

Catching up with K.C. Jones

HARTFORD, Conn. -- He is one of the most celebrated athletes and coaches in Boston sports history.

K.C. Jones won a total of 12 NBA titles, 11 coming with the Boston Celtics. He won eight as a player, one as an assistant coach and two as a head coach. Jones has won so many championship rings, he doesn't have enough fingers to showcase them all at once.

These days, the NBA Hall of Famer resides in Hartford, Conn., and has worked for the University of Hartford since 2000.

At Hartford, Jones serves as a special assistant to the athletics director. His duties include everything from serving as the color commentator for men’s basketball radio broadcasts to assisting with development, marketing and community relations.

“They needed a guy to do radio and a friend of mine called and asked if I would do it,” answered Jones about how he got involved with Hartford. “I said I would give it a shot and see how it goes. That’s how it all got started.”

Prior to joining the Hartford athletic department, Jones was the head coach of the New England Blizzard of the now-defunct women’s American Basketball League from 1997-1998. The league folded during Jones’ second year, and he took a position as assistant coach/consultant for the women’s basketball team at the University of Rhode Island.

In 2001, Jones faced a tough battle when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but made a full recovery.

“I had surgery and they took the cancer out,” said Jones. “Once they got rid of it everything was OK. There was no pain involved, but it was uncomfortable.”

Back in his heyday, Jones played for the legendary Red Auerbach, who coached the Celtics to nine NBA championships primarily during the 1960s.

“Playing for Red -- the man is a genius with the game,” said Jones. “He knows how to coach and never disrupts the nucleus. He had a commanding way with the team and is the best coach I’ve known in pro sports. He has been involved in 16 championships and that gives him a pretty good edge.”

Along with playing for a legendary coach, Jones, who will turn 72 in May, played alongside several legends, including Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and Sam Jones.

Jones was considered one of the top defensive guards in NBA history and for all his playing success, his No. 25 was retired by the Celtics.

After playing for the Celtics, Jones decided to enter the coaching ranks, becoming head coach at Brandeis University in 1967. In 1971, Jones rejoined the professional ranks as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers.

In 1977, after coaching with San Diego (ABA), Washington and Milwaukee, Jones rejoined the Celtics as an assistant coach and earned an NBA title in 1981. Jones took over as head coach of the Celtics in 1983 and led Boston to two more championships in 1984 and 1986.

If you are interested in finding out where or how a former New England Sports Legend is doing these days please write Jon Goode at jgoode@lowellspinners.com.


K.C. Jones
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