Jones Receives "GridIrons Gives Back" Scholarship Award
Hoffman Estates offensive guard Laduan Jones was one of two recipients to be awarded the "GridIrons Gives Back" scholarship award for excellence in the classroom as well as on the gridiron.
Sponsored by Kelleher and Holland, LLC and in conjunction with GridIrons, Jones received a check towards tuition at Elmhurst University, where he will be attending in the fall.
"Laduan is one of the hardest working kids that's come through here," Hawks head coach Tim Heyse said. "He's been through some tough times, but didn't let it get the best of him."
Tough times indeed.
According to Heyse, In the last three years, Jones was homeless twice and would taxi to and from practice during the season from Chicago.
"He'd taxi home sometimes as late as 11:30 at night, but somehow, some way, he'd be back at 7:30 in the morning for film session," said Heyse.
Nominated for the scholarship by his coach, Jones currently has a GPA of 2.9. He plans to study sports management and sports science at Elmhurst and play football for the Blue Jays.
"Coach Heyse is like a father figure to me," said Jones. "Everything I needed from him, he was always there for me…he made sure I got home safe and that I'd be great on and off the field…for him to nominate me for this award, I'll always be thankful to him for that."
And the "sky is the limit" for Jones once he steps on the gridiron at Elmhurst.
"He did a great job for us, he'll be 10 times better for them," said Heyse. "Just a dedicated, loving young man with a big heart and I can't wait to watch him in the future."