Iowa basketball player Ava Jones retires due to injuries from car accident that killed her father

COLLEGE PARK, MD - JANUARY 07:  The Iowa Hawkeyes logo on their uniform during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center on January 7, 2021 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
Ava Jones' career was derailed in 2022. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)

Iowa basketball player Ava Jones announced her retirement from college basketball Friday, nearly two years after the car accident that seriously injured her and killed her father.

In a statement released by the Hawkeyes, the forward said she will be allowed to remain on scholarship, but will no longer be a member of the team.

Jones' full statement:

"I would like to start by saying how grateful I am to have been a part of the Iowa women's basketball program. I am extremely blessed to have been a part of the journey last season.

"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 was a four-star recruit and ESPN's No. 84 member of the Class of 2023, but her career was derailed before she ever took the floor for Iowa.

On July 5, 2022, Jones, her brother and her parents were all struck by an allegedly impaired driver who drove his car onto the sidewalk in Louisville. The impact killed her father, Trey, and left her mother, Amy, with a brain injury and 21 broken bones, per ESPN. Her younger brother was treated for minor injuries.

Jones was reportedly left with a traumatic brain injury, torn ligaments in both knees and a shoulder injury, leaving her doubtful to ever play basketball again. She had committed to play at Iowa only two days earlier.

Her injuries left her doctors and then-Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder in awe that she was even walking that October:

“I can’t believe she was walking,” Bluder said, via The Cedar Rapids Gazette. “The doctor said, ‘I’ve never seen a person come in here with four torn ligaments in a knee and not be crying.’”

The driver involved, Michael Hurley, was reportedly 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. A police report claims he admitted to have taken hydrocodone before driving.