From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Jones, Bobby "Toothpick"

(born: 1938) 

Bobby Jones of Maysville, KY was the first African American high school basketball player to receive All-State honors in Kentucky. He got the nickname "Toothpick" because he always had a toothpick in his mouth.

In 1957, standing at 6' 3" and weighing 215 pounds, Jones was the second African American basketball player at the University of Dayton [the first was Charles "Ben" Jones from Danville, KY]. Jones averaged 10 points per game during his sophomore year but was kicked off the team because he had broken several team rules: he got married, rode a scooter that he crashed (he was hospitalized with injuries), and fought with his teammates.

Jones then transferred to Marshall University but left because he did not want to sit out for a year before becoming eligible to play on the basketball team. He next played in the AAU League and toured with the Harlem Stars and the Harlem Satellites basketball teams.

After his basketball career ended, Jones drove a cab on weekends before eventually returning to college. In 1972 he graduated from Ohio State University and a few years later earned his master's degree at Xavier University. In 1991, Jones was living in Cincinnati, OH, teaching at Holmes High School in Covington, KY.

For more information see "Toothpick forgotten in UD hoop lore," Dayton Daily News, 2/16/1991, Sports section, p. 1B; and Integrated: The Lincoln Institute, Basketball, and a Vanished Tradition, by J. W. Miller.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Mason County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Kenton County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Maysville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Covington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Jones, Charles B., Sr. "Ben"
NKAA Source: Dayton daily news (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Integrated : the Lincoln Institute, basketball, and a vanished tradition

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Jones, Bobby "Toothpick",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-10-23 19:28:52