These days, just getting to his workouts is a workout for Josh Jones.

“The YMCA is two, two and a half miles away. We just run down there and get our workout in,” Jones said.

Jones, an Erskine Academy graduate and former Husson University star, is playing professional basketball with the Albany (N.Y.) Legends of the Independent Basketball Association. Jones heard about the league through his agent, who suggested he attend a tryout in Albany.

“I ended up going down there and killing it,” Jones said.

Last fall, Jones was drafted in the sixth round of the NBA Developmental League draft by the Rio Grande Vipers, who traded him to the Maine Red Claws the next day. The Red Claws waived Jones late in their the preseason camp.

The IBA is a 12-team league. The season began last month and will continue into June, with the playoffs starting on June 22, Jones said.

Jones and the Legends opened the season on March 30 and 31 with a pair of wins over the Battle Creek Knights. In his first game, Jones scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a 129-102 win. He followed that with four points and three boards in a 113-98 victory.

“It’s upbeat, fast tempo (basketball),” Jones said. “It’s not as physical as the D-League was, but it’s just as quick.”

Albany hosts the Lansing Capitals this weekend for three games. The Legends play their home games at Christian Brothers Academy, an Albany-based private school, and Jones said the crowd for the opening weekend was great.

“We had wonderful fan support the first two games,” Jones said.

At 6-foot-4, Jones can’t play in the low post like he did in college. With Albany, Jones is a guard, where he’s learning new skills.

“They’ve got me on the wing, shooting and attacking the basket,” Jones said. “I’m working on my jump shot every day.”

Jones, who averaged 19.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per game as a senior at Husson, knows he needs to improve his perimeter skills to advance to the next level. On its web page, the IBA lists three objectives, one being “provide players and staff a platform to build careers and resumes in professional sports.” In that regard, Jones sees playing guard with Albany a learning experience.

“This is something that’s going to help me,” Jones said.

The IBA’s other two stated objectives are to use the league’s organizations as a vehicle to positively impact its communities, and to empower each community’s youth through positive contact. With that in mind, Jones said the Legends will conduct camps and clinics with underprivileged children.

“We work with kids that have had a bad upbringing,” Jones said. “It’s a way of saying thank you for allowing us to play basketball.”

Recently, Jones attended a tryout camp at which European basketball teams scouted for American talent. He hopes that in the fall, he can play basketball in Europe, or possibly get another tryout in the NBA Developmental League.

“I’m trying to get better. I just want to get to the next level,” Jones said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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