Beaufort teen getting VIP experience at National Championship

Former Beaufort High School three-sport athlete Anderson Jones is finding joy in sports again this week after his life was changed forever this summer.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 1:15 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 9, 2023 at 11:29 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A former Beaufort Eagles varsity basketball, soccer, and track athlete is getting to live out a dream of going to a national championship after his high school sports career ended following a tragic accident less than a year ago.

18-year-old Anderson Jones suffered severe brain trauma and was left paralyzed from the waist down after falling from the roof of a home under construction on Fripp Island in June of 2022.

“High school was normal at the time I guess,” Jones said. “I was playing sports, doing everything I liked doing, and then the fall came, June came and I fell.”

After the accident, Jones spent a few days in the ICU at MUSC. He then spent a few months at the Shepard Center in Atlanta, which specializes in brain and spinal cord injuries. Jones was able to regain brain function, but is still unable to walk.

This week, thanks to the non-profit organization Dream on 3, Jones is finding joy in sports again. He and his family have gotten the VIP treatment leading up to the College Football Playoff Championship game in Los Angeles.

The non-profit is geared towards helping children and young adults, ages 5-21, who are living with life-altering conditions live out their sports dreams.

“There for a little I was kind of against sports just because that’s what I did growing up, but I’m starting to pick up some hobbies like adaptive basketball and tennis for the time being,” Jones said. “The competitiveness is still there. I mean, it’s still sports it’s just a different way of doing it. But I can still go out there and compete.”

Jones and his family have been in LA since Friday. They’ve had the opportunity to meet players and coaches from Georgia and TCU, as well as ESPN personalities, got a special tour of SoFi stadium, and attended the AT&T Playlist Live concert featuring Pitbull and The Jonas Brothers.

“It is a once in a lifetime experience and I’m just trying to take it all in while I can,” Jones said.

Jones described the last few days in LA as an 'experience of a lifetime.'
Jones described the last few days in LA as an 'experience of a lifetime.'(Mary Beth Westgarth-Taylor | Dream on 3)

Jones adds that he hopes by sharing his story and journey, it can help inspire others.

“So far I haven’t had any problems talking about it because it makes people aware and it informs people about just how crazy life can turn on you real quick,” Jones said.

Anderson admitted that he grew up a Kentucky Wildcats fan, so he says he is pulling for TCU over Georgia on Monday night. However, he says he will always treasure getting to meet players from both teams while at the national championship media day.