Alabama native and current high school swingman Herb Jones made it known that he plans to play his college ball close to home. Jones announced on Thursday that he will be attending the University of Alabama next year in order to suit up for head coach Avery Johnson:
— Herb Jones (@_hoopinglife) October 6, 2016
The 6-7 wing currently attends Hale High School about 10 miles from Tuscaloosa, where he made his commitment to the Crimson Tide official at a school ceremony. According to the 247sports composite rankings, Jones is a three-star recruit, but 247sports and Rivals both rank him as a four-star prospect.
Jones told Drew Champlin of AL.com that he liked what he saw from the Alabama coaching staff.
“One of the coaches [Bob Simon] recruited [NBA rookie] Kris Dunn at Providence when they turned the program around. One of the coaches [John Pelphrey] played at Kentucky. Avery Johnson has NBA experience and he can tell me what I need to do to make it to the NBA.”
Alabama won the rights to Jones’ services over fellow finalists Georgia Tech, Georgia, Florida and Auburn. He transferred to class 3A Hale County in 2015 after his former school, 1A Sunshine High School, closed. Jones has also been playing on the Alabama AAU circuit as well.
He becomes the first commit in a possible class of five. Four-star forward Alex Reese out of Pelham is expected to make his announcement later on in the day on Thursday. The Crimson Tide are reportedly among the finalists for five-star guards John Petty and Collin Sexton.
Johnson was hired as Alabama’s head coach in April 2015 after making several coaching stops in the NBA. The Crimson Tide went 18-15 in his first season in charge a year ago.