QUINCY, Fla. (WTXL) — History was made at Crossroad Academy in Gadsden County Thursday as basketball player De'Onta Jones signed the school's first ever athletic scholarship, and there's no one else they'd rather have set that bar.
"I look forward to the next chapter of my life," said Jones.
"He is the perfect example of what we want our other athletes to come up and follow in his footsteps," said Roy Howard, the athletic director at Crossroad Academy.
Jones has most certainly left an example to follow. When he signed with Thomas University Thursday he became the first player from the Gadsden County school to sign a college athletic scholarship.
"Nobody really thinks about small Crossroad getting someone to go to college or anything like that," Jones said. "I feel like I set the bar. I always wanted to be a role model to somebody and I finally get the chance."
"We wanted to make sure that that bar that he sets," said Howard. "So the other kids that are coming behind him have something to strive for and look forward to."
It's something to strive for, even if today's ceremony was a little bit different than normal.
"It was something I thought about," Jones said. "I think we can pull it off if we do it right."
Masks on. Chairs six feet apart. Jones' signing was going to happen.
"It's something new," said Jones. "I'm used to bigger signing days."
"We wanted to have the whole school here, but we have to abide by the CDC guidelines," Howard said. "As long as D is happy with the ceremony we provided for him, we're definitely happy."
Happy, and on a historic day.
"I'm pretty happy I get to play basketball," said Jones. "I thought it was going to be over, but it's never over."
It's just beginning.
Jones is not just an example on the court. He finished his time at Crossroad with a 3.5 GPA and says he wants to study to one day become a social worker.