Wednesday, December 15, 2004
TUSCALOOSA – University of Alabama basketball coach Mark Gottfried announced at his weekly press conference on Wednesday that Alabama has awarded walkon guard Justin Jonus an athletic scholarship, beginning this January.
“This is something we talked about as a coaching staff and decided about a month ago,” said Gottfried. “We’ve been one short of our limit all year, using only 12 of the 13 scholarships, and we liked how hard Justin works and felt like he deserved it.”
Jonus, a 6-foot-5, 210 pound redshirt freshman from Boaz, walked on the team as a true freshman last season and was a redshirt. This season he has been Alabama’s first player in the game off the bench, playing in eight of Alabama’s nine games for an average of 11.3 minutes a game. He’s averaging 3.6 points and 2.0 rebounds a game, and his 3-point shooting has been key at times in helping power Alabama, including last Saturday night when his two 3-point baskets helped Alabama to a 75-71 win against Temple. He came off the bench and scored 14 points and had six rebounds in Alabama’s December 1 win against 2004 NCAA tournament team East Tennessee State, making four 3-point shots in that game.
He is a two-time 4A high school player of the year out of Douglas High School. He owns his high school’s scoring record with 2,343 career points which ranks ninth all-time in the state and coupled that tally with 1,115 career rebounds and 540 career assists.
The last Alabama basketball walkon to be awarded a scholarship was also its most famous. Antoine Pettway came in as a walk-on his freshman year at Alabama in 2001 and was awarded a scholarship just before the start of his sophomore season.