La Verne Lutheran Provides More Heart-Stopping Action with Return of the X Factor

January 19, 2011
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Xavier Jones

Xavier Jones

Xavier Jones, whose heart stopped beating during a Thanksgiving evening practice, is back!

Sporting his new cardioverter defibrillator that was implanted in his chest on Dec. 3, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound senior center was back on the La Verne Lutheran hardwood on Tuesday night against La Sierra Academy, scoring four points in extremely limited play.

When the senior center entered the game at the start of the second quarter, steady applause greeted his return. That he was back on the court was no less than a miracle to some. When he crumpled to the floor after his heart had stopped beating in December, it was only the action of quick-thinking coaches Eric Cooper and John Osorno who administered CPR with the aid of a downloaded iPhone app that saved Jones’ life. The story ricocheted around the world because of the novel use of the $1.99 iPhone application.

Being back not only on his feet, but also playing once again, jumping, defending, clogging the middle was all a bit too surreal for La Verne’s gentle giant.

“It was different,” Jones said moments after the game that Lutheran won 61-45. “I wasn’t exactly used to it. I’d been jogging on the track, but it’s nothing like going up and down on the court.”

Jones tossed up a couple of uncharacteristic wild shots, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind.

“It was a little surreal, playing under the lights,” Jones added.

Then Jones seem to find his footing, blocking a shot, then spinning with a strong pivot move to score two points. When he entered the second quarter, the Trojans were tied 14-14. When Jones exited the game less than two minutes later, the Trojans were up, 23-17.

Not only was Jones back, but he was back making an impact.

As for the game, Lutheran’s Cameron Osorno led all scorers with 21 points as Coach Cooper rested Grant Jerrett and C.J. Cooper in anticipation of Lutheran’s weekend match-up against Price in the first-ever California Elite Showcase at the University of La Verne.

“They had been logging a lot of minutes, so this was a good opportunity to give them a rest,” Cooper said.

La Verne Lutheran’s record is 10-3.

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