Vera Jones was a sports broadcaster for over 30 years, before she realized there was another calling in her life.
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Her love for basketball Vera Jones brought her to college and over three decades of sports broadcasting.
But it wasn’t until she became a college coach that she realized she had another vocation in her life: helping people blinded by life’s mistakes to trust their vision.
“I had no idea what sport could do in my life,” Jones said. “This passion, this love, took me on a full scholarship to Syracuse University.”
After graduation, she replaced jogging up and down the court for a spot on the sidelines, with a microphone in her hand.
“My biggest opportunity came in 1997 when I got that call from ESPN and almost fainted,” Jones said.
It was inspired by Robin Roberts, an ESPN broadcaster and reporter who has broken barriers in the sports broadcasting industry.
“When I got the call, I was the other black woman on ESPN, for a while,” Jones said.
By 2004, she was coaching women’s basketball at the University of Dayton and Indiana University, until her mother spoke prophetic words that would change her life forever.
“You have to give up basketball, and give up that training,” Jones’s mother said. “You missed your call, what you need to do is finish writing this book, have a speaker circuit so you can inspire people. This is your call.”
Jones says this was the last lecture given by her mother, who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2007.
It wasn’t long before she listened. During the same year, I stopped training and started Vera’s VoiceWorks, LLC.
Jones is now a published author, certified communications coach, and founder Academic perseverance speaker Train people to use their voices and tell their stories.
“People with disabilities, women with childhood trauma, the poor, you name it, all of their stories have fallen on my doorstep,” Jones said.
Since there is no game book for The Game of Life, the academy students will visit disadvantaged communities to encourage and advance others.
“I want to be able to do is pass these stories on to them, to say I know what you’re going through,” Jones said. “We understand that pain is how to turn that pain into a goal.”
Playing through life’s mistakes prompted Jones to show others how to go from blindness to penetration.
Jones said, “The sky is the limit, when you find that your pain was not breaking you, it was to teach you how to bend, so that you could help someone else.”
And she can say that she makes her mother proud and lives by her calling.
“I thought sport was my mission,” said Jones. “The training that I thought was supposed to be basketball was now coaching the speakers.” “I heard my mom say, I told you, I told you what you were supposed to do.”