Sep 6th, 2007 by Inside Hoops
Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today the promotion of Keith Jones to Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations/Athletic Trainer. Jones, who signed a multi-year contract with the team, will oversee player relations and basketball operations, including all team travel arrangements, the equipment staff, strength and conditioning, as well as treatment and rehabilitation of the players.
“Keith has been a valued member of our organization for the past 11 years and we are pleased to announce his promotion to senior vice president,” said Morey. “As the most senior member of our team operations staff, he will continue to be a key player in the running of all aspects of our basketball operations.”
Jones will be entering his 19th season in professional basketball and his 12th as athletic trainer of the Rockets. Jones became the fourth trainer in franchise history when he joined the Rockets on July 23, 1996. His peers voted him the NBA Trainer of the Year in 2001. During the summer of 2002, Jones was promoted to Vice President of Basketball Operations/Athletic Trainer after three seasons of holding player liaison responsibilities.
This summer, Jones served as a team trainer for the USA Men’s Senior National Team, which captured the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship 2007 behind a perfect 10-0 mark in the Olympic qualifier. This marked the fifth time Jones has performed these duties for the United States National Team. He has also served in the same capacity for USA Basketball at the 1998 World Championship of Basketball in Greece, during the 1999 Tournament of the Americas in Puerto Rico, with the gold-medal-winning Senior National Team during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and at the 2006 World Championship in Japan.
Prior to joining the Rockets, Jones spent six seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. When hired by the Clippers in June of 1990, he became the first African-American, as well as the youngest trainer in the NBA at age 28. Jones got his start in the NBA in 1988 as the assistant trainer for the Orlando Magic, joining the Clippers the following season when their head trainer position opened.
Jones began his career in athletic training at the University of Arkansas, working as a student trainer for Lou Holtz’s football and Eddie Sutton’s basketball teams for four years. He interned with the Philadelphia Eagles as an athletic trainer during his college summers and worked as their full-time assistant trainer during the 1983 season. Upon leaving Philadelphia, Jones spent two seasons with the Oklahoma Outlaws and Arizona Wranglers of the USFL. He eventually rejoined Holtz at the University of Minnesota as the football trainer in 1987 before moving to the NBA.