Iowa's Ava Jones retiring from college basketball

Iowa women's basketball forward Ava Jones, who was seriously injured by an impaired driver in 2022, will take a medical disqualification and retire from playing in college, Hawkeyes coach Jan Jensen announced Friday.

The decision came after consultation with team doctors and athletic trainers. Jones will remain on scholarship and keep working toward her degree. Her scholarship doesn't count against the limit of 15 active players.

Jones was with the Hawkeyes last season but was never medically cleared to play.

"I would like to start by saying how grateful I am to have been part of the Iowa women's basketball program," Jones wrote in a message on social media. "It is with great sadness to announce that I am medically retiring from college basketball. My coaches, doctors, teammates and trainers have been amazing since the accident. While I will no longer be a member of the women's basketball program, I will still be on scholarship, receive a world-class education and forever be a Hawkeye.

"I'd like to thank my family for the never-ending support and I am excited for the next chapter of my life."

Jones' father, Trey Jones, was killed while she and her mother, Amy Jones, were injured July 5, 2022, when an impaired driver hit them when he veered onto a sidewalk in Louisville, Kentucky, where Ava was competing in an AAU basketball tournament. The Jones family is from Nickerson, Kansas.

Ava Jones suffered a traumatic brain injury, torn ligaments in both knees and a shoulder injury. Amy Jones suffered a brain injury and 21 broken bones. Trey Jones died in the hospital after the crash.

The driver, Michael Hurley, was indicted by a grand jury and charged with one count of murder, two counts of first-degree assault, one count of assault in the fourth degree and one count of operating a motor vehicle under the influence. According to the police report, Hurley said he had taken the opioid hydrocodone before driving. He was on probation for drug-related charges at the time of the crash.

The 6-foot-2 Jones, who was ranked 83rd by ESPN HoopGurlz for the class of 2023, originally committed to Arizona State but then decommitted after coach Charli Turner Thorne retired. Jones reopened her recruitment and announced her commitment to Iowa on July 3, 2022, two days before the crash. Iowa immediately announced after the crash that she would remain on scholarship regardless of whether she was able to play.

"We wish Ava the best on the road to recovery and fully support the decision she made to step away from the game," Jensen said. "She worked tirelessly to get to this point, but she made the best decision for herself and her well-being."