Beaufort High’s Anderson Jones smiles from his hospital bed at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Submitted photo.

  Lowco perspective: Anderson Jones Fan Club 


 Beaufort High’s athletic standout, family face ‘new normal’ after accident 

By Justin Jarrett

The first time I saw him play, I knew Anderson Jones was my favorite player on the court within a few minutes of the game tipping off. 

The permanent smile on his face caught my attention first, and I noted the way he went through pregame warm-ups with a purpose, which backed up the reputation Beaufort High coach Jeremy Huff had sold before the season. 

On the basketball court, rising Beaufort High School senior Anderson Jones possessed a “relentless, infectious, and seemingly limitless energy.” Photo by Justin Jarrett.

Then the game started. Anderson was a water bug with relentless, infectious, and seemingly limitless energy. He darted into passing lanes only to pop back into good defensive position. He pressured the ball persistently, swiped the ball from behind in transition, and dived all over the floor. 

On our next Lowco Hoops Report podcast, I declared myself the president of the Anderson Jones Fan Club. 

I never saw him on the soccer pitch, but by all accounts he played the same way — as hard and fast as he could go, having the time of his life all the way and becoming one of the team’s most productive players. When he could slip away for a track meet, he was one of the area’s best 400-meter hurdlers. 

This coming year, his senior season, Anderson also planned to join the Eagles’ football team, making him an uber-rare four-sport athlete. 

That won’t be happening. 

Anderson and some friends spent the day at the beach a couple weekends ago and made the kind of dumb decision just about every one of us has made at their age, but while most of us skated past our indiscretions without any significant consequences, Anderson wasn’t as fortunate. 

The young men told police they had gotten their hands on some beer before climbing to the third floor of a home under construction on Fripp Island. When they went to come back down, Anderson lost his footing and fell to the ground, suffering severe injuries including multiple skull fractures and a severed spinal cord.

It’s impossible to know what role, if any, alcohol played in the accident, but the answer doesn’t change the tragic result, nor should it detract from the empathy we feel for Anderson and his family and friends or the support we show them as a community.

Much like watching Anderson for the first time, I felt an even quicker and stronger bond with his dad, Jeremy, over the past week. Jeremy reached out last Monday to share the devastating news about Anderson’s accident and injuries — and to desperately ask for help, not necessarily financially, but simply to boost Anderson’s spirits and show how many people have his back.

It was an easy “yes.” The family — Jeremy, Lesley, and Lexi — is going to need so much help, more than they even know, and many have chipped in. Another Beaufort High parent started a GoFundMe page, and LowcoSports.com is selling “Anderson Jones Fan Club” t-shirts to benefit the family and a new scholarship fund for deserving multi-sport student-athletes from the Lowcountry.

A image from an Anderson Jones Fan Club T-shirt.

It was touch and go for a couple of days, including a three-hour back operation, but Anderson has regained his mental functions — his sense of humor is still intact, too — but his legs still aren’t working. He will be transferred from MUSC in Charleston to Shepherd Center in Atlanta for more surgery and a lengthy rehab before he can return home to Beaufort.

There is no doubt Anderson and his family have a difficult adjustment period ahead as they settle into a “new normal” that doesn’t look anything like the old one, but they are grateful he’s still with us. We all are.

And even though we aren’t likely to see him grace the basketball court or soccer pitch again, we know he will take the same relentless energy and positive spirit into whatever comes next, and the Anderson Jones Fan Club will be cheering him all the way.

Justin Jarrett is the sports editor of The Island News and the founder of LowcoSports.com. He was the sports editor of the Island Packet and the Beaufort Gazette for 6½ years. He has a passion for sports and community journalism and a questionable sense of humor.

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