Heart attack doesn't stop Hoopfest perennial from playing

Heart attack doesn't stop Hoopfest perennial from playing

SPOKANE, Wash. - An elite group of players have competed in every Hoopfest since 1990, including one Seattle man who wouldn't let anything stop him from playing in his 25th Hoopfest.

Don Jones has gone to some pretty extreme measures to make sure he never misses a Hoopfest. But this year tops them all.

"I was golfing, I just wasn't feeling good about halfway through the round, I just thought I was getting the flu. I kept playing, got home and my wife took me to the hospital," said Jones.

Jones suffered a heart attack. His first thought, Hoopfest.

"When he got out of surgery the first thing he asked his cardiologist was what are the chances that I'm going to be able to do that and he goes, we'll do everything we can to get you there," said Teresa Jones, Don's wife.

It's only been one month since Don had his heart attack. He's been working as hard as he can to get on the court. There was no way he would miss Hoopfest 25.

"The 25th year is very important to me. I have been a part of this since the beginning," said Jones.

Don is no stranger when it comes to jumping through hoops to play at Hoopfest. He's postponed knee and ankle surgeries and on the unfortunate chance a friend scheduled a wedding on the same weekend he's prepared to do what it takes.

"I can't believe they did that to me! But I once played in the morning, took a flight to Seattle, then flew back for my night game," said Jones.

His wife Teresa says after all these years nobody is surprised by the lengths Don is willing to go for Hoopfest.

"His love is probably, first basketball, obviously family too, but basketball has always been very important to him," said Teresa.

Don says this year Hoopfest is no longer just about the basketball but embracing his health.

"Exercise is a good thing with cardiac rehab this is just maybe a little more extreme then they probably would have liked," said Jones.

Even some of Jones' opponents were impressed he had made a comeback so soon and wished him the best.