Mark Jones is one of the most versatile and longest-serving play-by-play commentators and studio hosts for ESPN and ABC, working for those networks since 1990, but it’s his athletic career that’s going to see him honored this weekend. Before Jones started his broadcasting career with TSN in 1986 (working as a SportsCentre host and the host of a Toronto Blue Jays show), he was a famed basketball player for the York University Lions in the Canadian university ranks, leading them to three Ontario University Athletics Association. York announced Friday that they’ll be honoring (or honoUring) Jones and four others with induction into the university’s Sport Hall of Fame next Thursday. Not only that, Jones’ older brother Paul (the radio play-by-play voice of the Toronto Raptors) will be the master of ceremonies at the event. From York’s release:
York University Athletics & Recreation and the School of Kinesiology & Health Science will welcome five new inductees to the York University Sport Hall of Fame at the annual dinner and induction ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Four former student-athletes and one coach will be inducted in 2016. This year’s inductees are field hockey player Karen Hewlett, basketball player Mark Jones, hockey player Bill Maguire, water polo player Christine Walton and long-time men’s basketball head coach Bob Bain. Paul Jones is slated to be the master of ceremonies for the event.
Created in 1980, the Sport Hall of Fame honours individuals who have significantly contributed to York’s interuniversity sport program as athletes, coaches and administrators; and who have exemplified the spirit and ideals of York University sports in their professional and community life. The selection committee consisted of varsity alumni, current student-athletes and several university administrators.
…Mark Jones (BA ’85) lead the York men’s basketball team to three OUAA championships (1981, 1984-85) and two silver medals in his five years with the team (1980-81, 1982-86). During his career he was one of the top players in the OUAA, earning conference second-team all-star honours in 1984 and 1985 and capping his career with a first-team all-star nod in 1986. A prolific guard for the Yeomen, he still ranks among the program’s top five all-time in total assists and steals. After graduating from York, Jones moved into broadcasting and has built a tremendous career, first with TSN from 1986-90 before moving on to work for ESPN, where he has covered college football and basketball, as well as the NBA and WNBA. Jones joins his older brother Paul, who was inducted in 2009, in York’s Sport Hall of Fame.
Jones has become an incredibly versatile broadcaster, handling everything from the NBA to baseball to college football to the NHL and WNBA, but there are many who may not know he was a great athlete first. While his accomplishments off the court are remarkable, it’s cool to see York recognize him for what he did on the court in Canadian university competition. Hopefully there won’t be too much ribbing from his brother about beating him to induction by seven years.