Five Star Basketball recently released its rankings for the top player in each of the 50 states. Clinton's Jalen Jones grabbed the honor in Iowa by the service, who calls the prep sophomore one of the best 25 players in the country for the 2014 class.
"I was kind of surprised," Jones said. "I had no idea they would rank me that high. It kind of motivates me to get better and keep working hard."
Jones, a regular visitor to Iowa home games, said he's hearing from the Hawkeyes and Iowa State on a consistent basis. He's playing up on the Iowa Pump and Run AAU 17U team this spring and summer.
"I'm trying to get better exposure and better competition to play against," Jones said
Jones is hoping to improve his shot from behind the three-point arc. He's comfortable with his mid-range game.
"Right now, probably defense and attacking the basket (are the areas of his game needing the most work)," Jones said. "I'm trying to work on my ball handling and shooting a lot."
Clinton High won just one game this winter. Jones and his teammates are motivated to turn things around in '12-13.
"We have to work twice as hard this summer as we did last summer," Jones said.
Jones plays the 1-4 positions at Clinton High. He runs at the three and four in AAU ball.
Watch Hawkeye Insider's exclusive interview with Jones: