HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Loved ones are remembering the life of a Henrico County educator and basketball coach after his death over the weekend.
Cameron Jones was in his first year substitute teaching sixth-grade English Elko Middle School and coached the boy’s basketball team at the school. He died in a crash in the Richmond area on Saturday, Feb. 4.
“During his extended time in the classroom and as a coach, he made a tremendous impact on the lives of many students,” the school division said in a statement. “Our hearts are with the Jones family and the Elko Middle School family as they mourn the loss of their friend, colleague, teacher, and loved one.”
Henrico Schools also said school counselors are available all week for students who may need additional support.
Brian Hamlet, Jones’ friend, said he had a bright spirit.
“He always put smiles on people’s faces,” he said. “He wouldn’t come in asking for the attention, but the attention would just draw to him because of the type of person he was.”
Hamlet said he grew up with Jones in their hometown of Roanoke. They lived together for a period of time and they enjoyed adventures and cookouts during their friendship. Hamlet was devastated when he received news of Jones’ death.
“It definitely broke me down for a good solid two to three days,” he said.
Jones was a Radford University alumnus and played on the school’s basketball team. The university’s athletics department posted a message on Facebook saying, “We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Radford Men’s Basketball alumnus, Cameron ‘Cam’ Jones. Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.”
Herman Mizell, Elko Middle School’s principal, held a moment of silence for Jones this week. He said the school community already felt Jones’ absence.
“His impact was far and wide,” he said. “People are coming from everywhere talking about Mr. Jones. Just young and it’s just unfortunate, but I feel like I hired a superstar, a gentle giant.”