|17 December 2013|
|Asjha Jones's inside presence will be sorely missed by Sparta&K |
Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje have been left reeling after losing former EuroLeague Women Final Eight MVP Asjha Jones to a season ending injury.
The 33-year-old suffered the blow during last week's match-up against Perfumerias Avenida and it has been revealed she won't be able to play for the remainder of the campaign.
Before returning home to the States, Jones expressed her disappointment by stating, "When I was approached by Sparta&K to join their team, I felt a challenge similar to that which I dealt with while at Rivas Ecopolis.
"I was asked to work together with some relatively young veterans to help some even younger rookies build a new competitive team worthy of the Sparta&K name.
"I arrived and was enjoying every minute of it, but unfortunately because of this setback I will now not be able to be here for the rest of the season.
"However, I feel I have become a member of the Sparta&K tradition and I wish everybody and especially my team-mates all the best".
The news came as a real shock to the clubs' management, who had identified Jones as the perfect mentor for the array of inexperienced players now on the roster.
General Manager, Steve Costalas said, "Shortly before the start of our season, I found out that Asjha was available and immediately realised that she would be a great influence for our young players.
"Sure enough, she became ‘Mama AJ' and a major factor in helping the second youngest team in EuroLeague Women to become a formidable opponent.
"We thank her and we will be there if she needs us."
Club President Anna Arkhipova Von Kalmanovic added, "I am saddened by the loss of such an experienced player and as an ex-player, I can imagine what she is going through and I wish her the best."
Meanwhile head coach Alexander Vasin was quick to pay tribute to Jones and hoping her departure will pave the way for his young players to try and fill the void.
He said, "I wish her a speedy recovery and who knows, maybe our paths might cross again.
"It was a pleasure coaching her, because she was one of the most professional players I had ever the pleasure to coach.
"Asjha's loss is very costly for us, but I feel that our young players and especially Ksenia Tikhonenko, will try their best to cover her loss."
Sparta&K are currently 3-2 in Group C of EuroLeague Women having won their last three games in a row.