Miles Jones has led Radford High School to back-to-back state titles, and the team is looking for another one this season. Already the Bobcats have jumped out to a 3-0 mark and a lot of that is because of their 6’6 big man.
But his life is a little different than most of his teammates—ordinary for him, not so for others. When he walks off the court and hangs his uniform in his locker, he goes home to another coach.
His father, Mike Jones, has been the head coach of the Radford University men’s basketball team for the past seven years. Before that, he was on the staff at Virginia Commonwealth University under Shaka Smart, which included a 2011 Final Four run. He also has had stints at University of Georgia, University of Richmond and West Virginia University.
The elder Jones, the seventh head coach in RU program history, took over a team with just one win in the season prior and led a three-year turnaround that resulted in back-to-back 22-win seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15. He also played basketball collegiately at Howard University.
The teenager admits there are pros and cons to having a coach as a father, but for the most part, there are plenty of positives.
“It has been fun to be around all aspects of the game, and I have seen my share of college practices,” he said.
Miles said his father “coaches” him up a lot.
“He always tries to schedule his practices so he can attend my games,” the youngster said.
Miles’ brother Nate was also a standout at Radford High School and has now moved on to Bucknell University where he is playing a critical role off the bench. The two brothers remain close and communicate almost daily.
Miles has started to gain some attention from colleges, but smiles when asked if his father has started recruitment. He would like to study marine biology in college and Hampton University, which has a similar degree program, has made some inquiries.
Miles is still on a growth spurt, and opposing coaches can’t believe he is only a junior with plenty of room to grow and learn. In the past year, he has added at least two inches in height and another 30 on the weight-side with most of that being muscle from the extra time he has spent in the weight room.
His coach, Rick Cormany, is seeing changes in all aspect of Miles’ game.
“He has gotten a lot stronger and grown so fast. His strength and coordination is finally catching up to those growth spurts,” he said.
According to his coach, Miles was very dedicated in the off-season.
“I think he will evidently be so much of a better inside-outside type of player. He has showed a lot of maturity and is so much focused in practice, and it helps that he’s the son of a coach,” Cormany said.