Alumni Update: Velton Jones added as Director of Player Development

Chris Mueller, Sports Editor

A familiar face can be seen along the Robert Morris bench this season, with former guard Velton Jones joining head coach Andy Toole’s staff as Director of Player Development.

Jones, a four-year starter at point guard, graduated in 2013 with a degree in hospitality and tourism management. He’s a staple among the Sewall Center, currently fifth all-time in scoring (1,588), and second in assists (551). As a senior, Jones was a key factor to the 2012-13 squad that upset Kentucky in the first round of the NIT.

He’s now back with the program to help mentor the current roster, primarily the backcourt.

“It’s been different not going out and playing and being able to coach. I like it,” Jones said. “It’s hard to explain. Being back at your alma mater and helping out with the team, to help keep the program going in a positive direction is an indescribable feeling. “

Transitioning into coaching, Jones can serve in a teaching role to the younger guards making a different transition into Division I basketball. It’s the opposites attracting.

Sophomore Kavon Stewart has taken over the starting point guard role with the graduation of Anthony Myers-Pate. Jafar Kinsey looks to earn solid minutes off the bench as a freshman, while 6-foot-3 Marcquise Reed just earned NEC Rookie of the Week honors for his 24-point performance in Chapel Hill.

“I mainly watch film with the guards, and work them out when we’re not practicing, just to be a mentor to Jafar and Kavon, all the guards really, and mainly the whole team,” he said. “Because I’ve been through the struggles, I’ve been through certain things.”

Jones holds valuable experience, but not just from his 125 starts that hold a school-record. He knows the intricacies of playing the position at the Division I level, how to approach practice, and the mental aspect of the game. Toole trusts him, just as any coach would trust their veteran floor general.

The players respect him, too. He’s always been regarded as one of the toughest to ever to put on a Robert Morris uniform. The hard times endured as a player have now come full-circle.

“It’s a lot different,” said Jones. “When you’re playing, you don’t understand the madness as much as to why they make you run, or why they may make you do some of the harder things you need to do to win Division I games. On the coaches side, you see the behind the scenes stuff you wouldn’t see as a player, you understand more.”

The Colonials are on the road at Bradley tonight on an 8 p.m. tip.