(Photo Courtesy of Cornell University)
*This article is part of a month long series, Black Lacrosse Stories, that highlights Black players and coaches who have made an impact on our game, but may be lesser known to many younger players today.*
Tuesday’s article in this series featured former Army defenseman Dan Williams who played for the Black Knights in the mid-1980s. Well, while Williams was tearing it up down at West Point, there was another Black defenseman out of Hempstead wreaking havoc on the field up in Ithaca: Cornell’s Aaron Jones.
As a freshman at Cornell in 1984, Jones recorded 19 ground balls while helping to lead the Big Red to a 6-6 record and second place finish in the Ivy League. That season was the worst of his four seasons at Cornell.
Jones’ best two seasons in Ithaca were the 1985 and 1987 seasons. During that 1985 season he was named a second-team All-Ivy selection while recording 30 ground balls and helping lead Cornell to an 8-4 record and second place finish in the Ivy League. In 1987, as a senior, was the best year personally and team-wise for Jones at Cornell, helping to lead them to a 13-1 record and a 1987 national title game appearance, where they lost 11-10 to Johns Hopkins.
As a senior, Jones recorded 58 ground balls and was named a Third-Team All-American, Honorable Mention All-Ivy, and was a member of the NCAA All-Tournament team. He was also named Cornell Athlete of The Year in both 1985 and 1987. He was also an Honorable Mention All-Ivy during the 1986 season as a junior.
Following his college career, Jones went on to work as an executive with both the NFL and NBA. He served as the president of the NLL’s New York Titans and the CEO of Metro Lacrosse until 2019.