(ed. note: In early October, ESPN aired a documentary piece about Rob Jones, the eldest son of Jim Jones Jr. and his wife Erin. Rob now attends the University of San Diego, where he has a basketball scholarship. Jon Fish is the producer of the ESPN piece.)
Sports are often overlooked as part of a story especially one of this magnitude. For ESPN it was very important to keep the story on sports and the role it played in Jonestown and now in Rob Jones’ life. For us the story became clear: basketball saved one generation and is making a star out of the next.
We were very lucky that Jim Jones Jr., Stephan Jones, and John Cobb opened up their stories for us. You can see now when Rob soars on the basketball court, it means so much to his family and friends.
As Rob goes forward in his collegiate basketball career, it is nice that Jim Jones Jr. can move forward in life as the father of Rob Jones.
- A longer story written by Jon Fish and Chris Connelly on ESPN.com appears here.
- A story about an ESPN writer’s feature article on the entire Jonestown basketball team appears here.
- A story written by Jim Jones, Jr. about the impact that basketball had upon his own survival and his family’s identity was published in the 2009 book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball.
- Other stories about Rob Jones include:
Building His Own Legacy:
The grandson of Jim Jones is one of the Bay Area’s top prep athletes
by Will McCulloch, San Francisco Chronicle, January 16, 2007
Grandson of Cult Leader Jim Jones Prepares for College Basketball Career
by Michael David Smith, aolsports, October 2, 2007
ESPN examines Jones Jr.’s tale (find “ESPN examines Jones Jr.’s tale”)
by Michael Hiestand, USA Today, October 4, 2007
Grandson attempts to rebuild family’s name
by Robyn Norwood, The Los Angeles Times, November 22, 2007
Jonestown nightmare, hoop dreams
by Steve Kroner, San Francisco Chronicle, October 6, 2007