Augusta Christian Schools senior Lee Jones was just doing what comes naturally during AC's basketball game Friday night at Charlotte Christian.
Jones needed only 16 points in Charlotte to reach 1,000 career points with the Lions, and the 6-2 guard had no intention of waiting to make the milestone in Saturday's home contest against Trinity Christian.
"I was going to score as many as I could. I really wasn't thinking about stopping at all," said Jones, who hit a 3-point shot in the third quarter against Charlotte to push him past the 1,000-point mark.
Augusta Christian eventually lost 78-48 to the prep powerhouse from North Carolina, so it would have been easy for Jones to just wait and achieve the mark in front of the home crowd at the Lions Den.
But that's not the mind-set that allows a high school basketball player to score 1,000 points.
"My objective is to win the game, and whatever I can do to win the game, I'll do, whether it's to score five or 30," he said.
Jones finished with 17. Prior to Saturday's game at AC, Lions' coach Andrew Bryan presented Jones with a game ball, and the crowd cheered in recognition of the rare accomplishment.
"It's emotional, but exciting at the same time," Jones said of the pre-game ceremony. "God allowed me to reach this goal I've always wanted. It's something I won't forget."
Jones joins Nick Isaac, Joey Isaac and James Seegars as the only Lions to top 1,000 points in a career. Augusta Christian's Valery Chrjapin also achieved that scoring standard while playing for the Lady Lions.
"The 1,000 point club is a very elite group," Coach Bryan said. "To reach 1,000 points, you have to play a majority of your basketball on the varsity level. It shows longevity and success over a long period of time."
When he began playing in high school, Jones set a goal to top 1,000 career points, and he steadily scaled that plateau over the past three seasons by averaging close to 20 points per game. As a sophomore and junior, he was an all-state selection in the Georgia Independent Schools Association, and also was on the all-region team both years.
Jones scores readily on 3-point shots, but is just as adept at driving to the basket to record buckets.
"It takes an all-around game. You can't just rely on outside shooting," he said. "You have to get in there and do all the dirty work, too. Then the points just add up."
Jones also dished some praise to his fellow Lions, who he says helped him score plenty of points.
"A majority of them, definitely," he said. "That's what basketball is - a team sport. If I didn't have teammates to give me the ball, I could have never reached this goal."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.