A tall figure walked into the stadium, dressed in a light blue shirt while listening to his beats while his other teammates were running in paces with set plays.

Flying hours and hours all the way from the States, the 33-year-old Solomon Jones finally arrived in Malaysia last week to start his first journey as a part of Westports Malaysia Dragons’ world import.

Still trying to beat his jet-lag, that was no reason stopping him from getting down to his training jerseys to shoot some hoops with his new comrades in Malaysia.

“You got to stay ready, got to prepare like a professional,” Jones said during his first interview after his first training on November 8.

At 33 years old, playing in various leagues around the world and most recently in China, Jones was drafted as the 33rd overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft and started his first career with Atlanta Hawks. Having played 281 games in the NBA, Jones’ experience will be valuable for the local players and will be targetting better finishing in the upcoming Asean Basketball League.

Standing at 6 feet 10″, Jones faced many challenges throughout his career in the past decade but his determination and love for basketball keep him going places around the world.

“It’s a blessing for me. I’m feeling good with a lot of opportunities in itself. Coming out here and learn different culture in many different places like Kuala Lumpur.”

“I’m here to try and do what the coach wanted me to do. I can bring my side of experience: from the things and techniques I know. I’m here to help the guys out and it works the other way too. I do hope to learn from them too.”

“There’s always a room for improvement. I’m just looking at bringing the energy and to play well to win the championship,” Jones said.

Despite his age, he never looked like any players of his age. Just like what Jones mentioned about his greatest strength: his athleticism. One of his teammates, John Ng joked that he looked more like a 26-year-old player than at 33 years old.

When asked about his most valuable lesson throughout his career, Jones said that it is very important to stay healthy and take care of the body to prepare for any games at any time.

“You got to take care of your body and enjoy this moment because the ball has to start bouncing at some time. My greatest strength is my athleticism. Being able to run with my quickness from point A to point B. Trying to get a rebound and defending, finishing around the rim. Just everything.”

Jones’ message to the Dragons’ fans: “Just enjoy the show. I want to have fun to play basketball and I’m here trying to win the championship when you can come out here to win and do it for the fans.”

Fun fact for the fans, Jones do love to eat a lot of seafood.

Dragons will face their first test of the season playing against Mono Vampire on November 25th in Bangkok, Thailand. It will be an exciting season starter for the Dragons facing the Vampire as they will also debut former ABL Finals MVP Jason Brickman who played for the Dragons when they won the championship in 2015.

Written by Norman Goh