MINNEAPOLIS - For Alexis Jones – the moment she was drafted was one of triumph.
"I finally made it for our family,” said Alexis. "I was the first to make it. To be drafted."
A happy ending to a family story of adversity.
“It was a life-changing situation for me,” said Alexis.
One that happened in an instant
"We’re all blessed to be alive,” said Andrew Jones, Alexis’ brother. "And healthy to be here."
April 7, 2007, was a cold night in Sweetwater, Texas, that turned into an even colder reality.
"It was Easter weekend and for some reason it started snowing,” said David Jones, Alexis’ father.
Alexis, her brother, father David, and two friends were driving to basketball practice when David hit ice on the road.
"I don’t remember anything because I was asleep in the car,” Alexis recalls. "All I know is what was told to me and when I woke up I was told that we slipped on black ice and we flipped over."
“It flipped over twice,” Andrew recalls. "I was thrown out the window."
The accident, which threw Alexis and her brother Andrew from the car, remarkably left all the children with only minor injuries.
"My whole family was blessed,” said Alexis. "I mean, even my friends."
Her father, however, was paralyzed from the waist down, yet grateful to be the only one seriously hurt.
"I was just glad that it was left on me,” said David. "Because I wouldn’t have known what to do if any of those kids got hurt."
While neither of the Jones children were permanently injured, the emotional scars took time to heal.
"I grew up at a very young age,” said Andrew. "I became very independent. I learned to cook for myself and always helping my dad to do anything he needed me to do for him."
But they always knew – like in basketball—they were better as a team.
"I think we got through it the best way,” said Alexis. "Nobody broke We all stayed together. We helped my dad."
Even when it meant transferring from Duke to Baylor because Alexis wanted her father to be able to watch her play.
“He didn’t want me to just get up and go just to make the situation better for him,” said Alexis. "So he wanted me to make the decision for myself and that was my decision I wanted to make for myself."
One that ultimately brought her back to draft day.
And a feeling that everything has everything has worked out the way it was supposed to.
"God put them on this earth for a reason,” said David Jones. "So I really believe that he spared their lives so they could be an inspiration to other people."
Even if they got to that point by depending on each other in ways they never imagined they’d have to.
"We all we got,” said Alexis. "You only live once and you never know when your moment could be taken away from you."
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