Perry Jones Visits Thunder Youth Camp

The first thing most people notice about Perry Jones is his ear-to-ear grin. On Tuesday at the final Thunder Youth Basketball camp of the summer, Jones was able to put smiles on a lot of campers’ faces.

The 2012 first-round draft pick by the Thunder spent the afternoon working with the 5-to-16 year-old boys and girls, first engaging them with a question-and-answer session, then working with them in drills and even taking part in a game of five-on-five.

It wasn’t the first time Jones had the chance to get up-and-down this summer, as he traveled down to Orlando to play in Summer League action with the Thunder only a couple weeks after he was drafted. There he worked with Thunder players Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward and Reggie Jackson in addition to the coaching staff.

“It felt real good to be actually playing in a pick-up game for once, because when you’re traveling, working out for teams, you’re not playing five-on-five,” Jones said. “It was actually fun, actually getting to play against somebody, running up and down the court and having plays in it. It was good playing organized ball.”

This summer Jones has been working out hard at the Integris Health Thunder Development Center, while working on moving to Oklahoma City and settling into his new community. He’s already had the opportunity to work out with some of his teammates, and says that one in particular, Kevin Durant, even from across the pond in London has made a concerted effort to check in on him this summer.

“He’s a guy that really cares about his team and his teammates,” Jones said. “A lot of people at his level, players like that, most of them care about themselves. It’s very rare to come around a type of player like that who cares about his team.”

Because he was in the midst of his move, Jones didn’t get a chance to see Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden win the Gold medal and Serge Ibaka win the Silver, but he said that those victories show just how hard his new Thunder teammates have worked. That knowledge pushes Jones and makes him realize just how much effort he must put in to learn from those young veterans in order to find his role on the team.

“Whatever the coach needs, if I can provide it, I’ll do the best I can at what he needs,” Jones said. “This is a good chance for me to learn something from veteran guys and guys that are high-major prospects in this league. I’ll definitely sit back and learn from them.”