North Carolina Central University unveils sculpture of alum, NBA legend Sam Jones

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Sunday, January 15, 2023
NCCU unveils sculpture of alum, NBA legend Sam Jones
North Carolina Central University honors NBA legend Sam Jones Saturday.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- One of North Carolina Central University's most famous alums got quite the honor on campus Saturday.

A sculpture was unveiled of Sam Jones who passed away in 2021. His family was in attendance at the event held in Durham.

Jones graduated from then North Carolina College in 1957 and went on to win 10 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics.

His ten championships are second all-time behind Bill Russell, Jones' Celtics teammate.

"I'm just glad to be back on dad's campus," said Aubre Jones, Jones' son. "I've worn different jerseys for schools I've worked for but today I wear this shirt and I'm a Central Eagle today."

The sculpture, which stands 30 inches tall and 22 inches wide, was created by award-winning artist Douglas Aja, who is based in Vermont.

After the unveiling Saturday, the sculpture will be prominently displayed in McDougald-McLendon Arena in celebration of the life of Sam Jones.

"Everything goes through your mind," said Michael Jones. "I'm just the proudest son in the world. I've lived 62 years with that man telling me stories and watching him play."

NCCU head coach Levelle Moton grew up in Boston before moving to Raleigh for high school. He said he knew Sam Jones and developed a relationship with him when he was a player at central.

"It's long overdue, I'm happy that we're doing it, he's one of the all-time greats. People need to understand where he's come from," Moton said. "We always talked, and he always gave me the best advice and I'm sure he's shining down enjoying this day."

Moton said the first thing he did when he arrived at Saturday's event was look for the number of points Jones scored in the program.

"If I knew I tied him, I'd be good," he said. "I wanted to respect the ones that paved the way before me the only reason I'm able to grace these sidelines is because of that beautiful family and that beautiful man."

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