Here’s a quick little Q&A with Malcolm Jones’ parents after their son was awarded the Gatorade National Player of the Year award earlier today.
Check after the jump, because I know this isn’t everybody’s thing.
Angela Jones on why she thinks her son deserved the award:
“It has to do with the person as well as the player. He’s down to earth, he’s kind of nonchalant. He does what he has to do. Maybe he just embodies all the qualities they look for in an award like this.”
Marshall Jones, Sr., on his Malcolm’s reaction:
“His initial reaction to that was, ‘Oh, OK, no big deal.’ This one, this overwhelmed him. He teared up a little bit. He’s overwhelmed now, he really is. He may not let everybody know how much this means to him, but this means a lot to Malcolm. I can tell.
Angela Jones on Malcolm:
“Malcolm has just always had a good work ethic. He does what he’s got to do to get the job done. He doesn’t like to do a bad job on anything.”
Marshall Jones, Sr., on Malcolm:
“He doesn’t brag a lot. He doesn’t get big headed. He’s got a lot of mischief in him, that everybody doesn’t see. I can’t tell you those stories. He’s like other kids. I still yell at him about cleaning him room. He’s just a typical kid who’s enjoying life. He’s realizes I think that he’s really blessed. He takes his blessings as something he should utilize for the good of himself and others. And that’s what makes me proud of him.
“He’s a better person than he is a football player.”
Angela Jones on Malcolm’s introduction to Oaks Christian:
“When he came here, and he came as a young freshman, he played varsity. He was with guys who were 17 and 18, and he had just turned 14. He was very overwhelmed that summer. He was used to being big man on campus in eighth grade. And then he comes here and they made him clean up the locker room and all that fun stuff.”
Marshall Jones, Sr., on Malcolm’s introduction to Oaks Christian:
“He had to adjust to not being the superstar. He handled it well. He continued to work hard and he never lost confidence in himself. I remember having a conversation with him and he said, ‘Dad, I’m low man on the totem pole.’ I kept telling him, it won’t be long. Before you know it, you’ll be right up there. By the end of the season, he was contributing well.
“I suspect the same will happen at UCLA. He works extremely hard. Mentally, he’s already there. He’s ready for the college game right now.”
Marshall Jones, Sr., on his reaction to the big news:
“I cracked up. I couldn’t believe it. I knew when Malcolm was told about the state award, his reaction was, ‘Oh, did I win state or national?’ Wow, who in their right mind would sit back and think, instead of being overwhelmed with state, wondering whether or not he won national?”
Marshall Jones, Sr., on who he’ll root for next year:
“When USC plays anybody but UCLA, I’ll root for USC. When UCLA plays anybody but USC, I’ll root for UCLA. When they play each other…I’m remaining neutral.”
And one funny little back and forth…
Angela Jones: “I’m already have my t-shirt planned out. The half-and-half. Blue and its cardinal, gold on both of them. But I’m going to tell them, ‘DO NOT HURT EACH OTHER.'”
Malcolm Jones, Sr.: “Yeah, right.”
Angela Jones: “Do not hurt each other.”
Malcolm Jones, Sr.: “I coached them both in football, and I’ve always wanted to see them go up against each other. I never got to see it. I’ve always wanted to.
Angela Jones: “No, no, no. If Malcolm’s about to score the ball, Marshall, just let him go. One touchdown isn’t going to hurt you.”