Basketball: Jones becomes first player to 400 career games

Phill Jones of the Nelson Giants grabs the rebound in the NBL basketball against Southland. Photo / Photosport
Phill Jones of the Nelson Giants grabs the rebound in the NBL basketball against Southland. Photo / Photosport

Nelson Giants stalwart, Phil Jones, is to become the first player to reach 400 career NBL games when they take on the Canterbury Rams.

It is only fitting that the 42-year-old will bring this milestone up on the countries most treasured holiday, ANZAC Day.

Jones became the all-time leader in games played in 2014, eclipsing the previous best of 361 games played by NBL great Willie Burton.

After announcing his retirement in the 2014 season, Jones had a change of heart and has continued to be a solid contributor to the Giants.

In 2016, Jones is averaging the most points since the 2012 season at 13.4. Arguably one of the best shooters New Zealand has ever produced, Jones has a career three-point percentage at 38.5%, this year he is at 44.4%.

Jones made his debut in 1993 and is playing his 22nd NBL season. This year he reached the 7000-point mark which puts him second behind Ronnie Joyner (8616) who was NZ's best ever scorer with a career average of 30.3.

Nearly all of Jones's team mates on that iconic 2002 Tall Black team mates that finished fourth in the world championships have moved onto the coaching ranks, Dillon Boucher is the only other player still in the NBL. Boucher is close on the heels of Jones with 381 games.

- NZ Herald

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