Anthony Jones, Georgetown's 6-foot-6 forward from Dunbar High School, said yesterday he will take a leave of absence from the university in 1983-84. It would have been his junior year.
"I went to Coach (John) Thompson and told him I wanted to take one year off and get things together," Jones said.
"There have been some problems at home, some things that have gone on that I hope I can help straighten out. But I'd rather not get into the specifics.
"I'll just be working for a year, maybe take a class or two, and hope to come back with a clear mind the next year."
Jones, a high school all-America, became part of Georgetown's finest recruiting class when he joined Patrick Ewing and Billy Martin as freshmen in the 1981-82 season.
Jones played well at times as a substitute in 1982, when Georgetown went to the NCAA championship game.
He became a starter at the beginning of last season, and averaged nine points on 57 percent shooting and five rebounds.
But in late December, he injured his elbow and played inconsistently thereafter; at one point in January, he had made only one of 16 foul shots.
In January, Jones called his woes, "Self pressure. Friends would say, 'What's wrong? You don't seem like you're into it.' I agree with them. I think I was trying too hard . . . What I feel is a desperate hurt for the game."
Jones, 20, feels he must get his personal life in order before he concentrates on basketball again. He said although those with high expectations for him may have been disappointed with his performance last year, he wasn't. "The injury was disappointing, but I don't think the season was," Jones said.
"Spectators sometimes don't know what's really going on with a person.
"I approached Coach Thompson and one of the deans at school and said (taking off a year) was something I wanted to do.
"Coach Thompson asked me, 'Is that your decision?' And I told him it was. The dean asked me the same thing and I told her, 'Yes, my home situation dictated my decision.'
"I'm sure I'll miss it (basketball) a lot. But I'll still be a part of Georgetown basketball. I don't think my skills will erode. If anything, taking a year off may enhance my performance. I hope to benefit from the year off, then hopefully come back for two more years."
Jones will regain his scholarship when he returns to the Hilltop. He will have two years of eligibility left.
Said Thompson, "I think it's the best thing for Anthony. We had Al Dutch and Mike Frazier (in the late 1970s), who also decided to take a year off. Coming out of high school, it's all fantasy.
"I hope Anthony will use this year to reflect on real responsibility. I think he can come back and be successful, but the burden of responsibility is on Anthony.
"He's a talented player and we're going to miss his experience," Thompson said when asked about not having Jones in the lineup next year. "It's unfortunate that he's had to live life in a fishbowl since high school. But a lot of his decision was totally unrelated to basketball. And I think he made the best decision for him."