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'Pink Out' game to memorialize St. Vincent College basketball player's late mother

| Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, 12:01 a.m.
Junior marketing major and St. Vincent basketball guard Pat Jones, 20, of Frostburg, Md., holds a photograph of himself and his late mother, Jennie Jones, on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Jennie Jones was a breast-cancer patient who attended the team’s “Pink Out” game for breast-cancer awareness last February. She died just before the start of this season in November, Jones died.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Junior marketing major and St. Vincent basketball guard Pat Jones, 20, of Frostburg, Md., holds a photograph of himself and his late mother, Jennie Jones, on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Jennie Jones was a breast-cancer patient who attended the team’s “Pink Out” game for breast-cancer awareness last February. She died just before the start of this season in November, Jones died.

Jenny Jones often sported a sweatshirt that read “unathletic department” across the chest, but that didn't dampen her spirit for basketball when her son took to the court at St. Vincent College.

“She loved coming to the games,” said Pat Jones of Frostburg, Md., a guard on the college's Bearcats basketball team. “We would always kind of tease her about her cheering because she didn't know too much about basketball, but she would be the loudest.”

His mother first battled breast cancer in 2004, then was cancer-free until December 2013. Jenny Jones fought the disease again until she passed away Nov. 12. She was 54.

The team will honor Jones at its “Pink Out” game Saturday for breast cancer awareness. All of the proceeds from sales of T-shirts, pink lemonade, 50/50 raffle tickets and signing spaces on a memorial banner will benefit the Jenny Jones Early Learning Center in Frostburg.

“It's a brotherhood here,” said head basketball coach D.P. Harris. “It's beautiful to see the love of teammates and brotherhood and how they can come together.”

The 4 p.m. game against Thomas More College is Senior Day and the Bearcats' last home game of the regular season. Admission to the game is $5. Commemorative T-shirts are $10; they will be available throughout the playoffs.

Donations or T-shirt purchases also can be made by calling associate basketball coach Dan Szramowski at 724-805-2439.

“I think it's wonderful,” said Pat Jones, 20. “I tell people about my mom every chance I get because of what a wonderful lady she was.”

Jenny Jones' death occurred just before the opening game of the season, when Pat Jones took the court and scored a career-high 20 points in a game.

His father, Ed Jones, said he knows his late wife was there in spirit.

“She's with him, and she's with all of us,” Ed Jones said. “We try to dwell on her happiness and forget about our own sorrow.”

When he's on the court, Pat Jones, a junior marketing major, knows his mom is there, too.

“I believe that with every ounce of my being; there's no doubt about it.”

Ed Jones also played basketball as a student at St. Vincent and met his future wife while she was a student at Seton Hill College in Greensburg.

After graduating, Jenny Jones became a teacher. For 19 years, she taught at St. Michael's school in Frostburg. She started a pre-kindergarten program that flourished even after the grade school was closed, Ed Jones said.

The early learning center has been renamed in her honor with a sign dedication planned for the spring, he said.

The memorial will serve as a reminder that his wife is in a better place, something Jones said will comfort him and his family.

“I just know she's in good shape,” he said. “There's no doubt in my mind there's something beyond what we've got now, and it's something good.”

The team plans to present the donation from Saturday's event in the fall at the early learning center, when it is scheduled for a tournament in Frostburg.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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