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Sun City athletes grateful to be added to UTEP basketball team
By: Genevieve Curtis
EL PASO, Texas--They are the two hometown athletes causing a buzz around the borderland.
It's Division I sports times two for the Jones twins. The University of Texas at El Paso football players, Alvin Jones and Aaron Jones, joined the UTEP basketball team this week after three players were kicked off the team for sports betting.
"Not too many athletes get the chance to do both," said Aaron Jones.
"It's surreal," said Alvin Jones.
The Burges high school grads have been dual athletes their whole lives. They received offers to play basketball from other universities but the freshmen chose to play football at UTEP because they could do it together.
Tuesday night the twins were tapped to join the hoops roster.
"We're just thankful for the opportunity Bob Stull, coach Kugler and coach Floyd gave to us because not that many people get that and it's a blessing," said Alvin Jones.
Coach Tim Floyd said he's not sure what the boys' role will be yet and says they have a lot of catching up to do.
"We'll check them in two or three weeks and see if they can help us, we have no clue," said Floyd after Thursday night's game. The boys suited up for the game but did not play.
It's a challenge the twins say they are up for and a chance they are grateful for.
"I'm ready. I've been doing it all my life. But it takes a little time to get in shape for basketball, it's a different speed," said Aaron Jones.
The boys know they might not even log any game time, but that doesn't matter.
"I'm just excited. I just want to help out as much as I can. Even if I don't play, help out in practice as much as I can. Do whatever I can to help the team," said Alvin Jones.
"We are happy for the opportunity for the boys, we know they love basketball as much as football. They were kind of missing it because this was the first time in their life that they didn't play basketball and football," said Alvin Jones Sr., the boys' father.
Their dad says their love of the game and competitive spirit came naturally to the boys, who started drawing up plays when they were 4 years old.
"We laughed so hard because we were like, this is not a normal 4-year-old, drawing up plays," said Alvin Jones Sr.
Alvin Jones Sr. spoke to KFOX14 by phone on Tuesday; he said they were excited to see their sons get the opportunity.
"I'm at a loss for words because it's amazing to have that opportunity to play to Division I sports," said Alvin Jones Sr. "They are students of the game, they understand the game, they are very coachable," he added.
The twins say they've always appreciated the Sun City cheering them on.
"It's a great feeling knowing you have people behind you, even when you are not playing, they come and support," said Alvin Jones.
Alvin Jones Sr. said they're grateful for the various coaches the boys have had from football, AAU and high school basketball who've helped prepare them for the college level.