Standout University of Iowa basketball commit and family struck down by impaired driver

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kansas high school and college-bound star basketball player Ava Jones and her family were hospitalized after being hit by an allegedly impaired driver Tuesday evening.

Ava, her brother and their parents, Amy and Trey Jones, were on a sidewalk in downtown Louisville when they were struck just before 8 p.m., Wheat State Elite coach Craig Nicholson confirmed to The Hutchinson News. The newspaper reported the family as saying Ava would make a full recovery.

Wheat State Elite is an AAU team that Ava plays for, along with Nickerson High School, both out of Kansas.

Her parents were in critical condition Wednesday morning, according to Louisville Metro Police. The teenage female, believed to be Ava, was in “serious but stable condition,” while the young boy was treated for minor injuries, police spokesperson Beth Ruoff told the Courier-Journal. 

Dylan Evans, the owner and director of Wheat State Elite, confirmed to KWCH that Ava, her parents and her brother were all hospitalized after the crash. 

The driver of the vehicle, 33-year-old Michael Hurley, admitted to police that he had taken hydrocodone and was “so tired that he could not make the turn,” LMPD said. Hurley was arrested and charged with four counts of first-degree assault, driving under the influence and a license possession violation. 

The family was visiting Louisville for Ava to compete with Wheat State Elite in the Run 4 Roses Classic, an AAU girls basketball tournament.

Ava averaged 20.8 points, 15.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game during her junior season at Nickerson. According to ESPNW’s top 100, Ava is ranked as the 83rd best girls basketball player in the country for the Class of 2023. 

Ava announced her commitment to the University of Iowa just three days ago. 

“I would first off like to thank my family for everything they do, along with my WSE and SWE family,” Jones wrote in her announcement on Twitter. “None of this would be possible without each and every one of you. I would also like to thank all the schools that have recruited me and taken the time to get to know my family and myself. With that being said, I’m excited to announce that I will be committing to the University of Iowa! Go Hawkeyes!!”

Iowa was ranked the eighth best team in the nation during the 2021-2022 season by the Associated Press

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