Perry Jones, Big Data and the Road Back to Basketball


A standout at high school and college, Perry Jones III always had the talent. However, after a series of setbacks in his rookie year—including injuries and personal tragedy—the sweet-shooting 6-11 forward found himself traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder and cut by the Boston Celtics. But Jones is not about to let his NBA journey end so soon.

VICE Sports travels to the Peak Performance Project (P3) facility in Santa Barbara, California to see how Jones is using big data—as well as hard work and determination—to kickstart his stalled NBA dream.

Jones trains with sports scientist Dr Marcus Eliott as he prepares to play his next season with the Russian basketball league. Perry works with Eliott and his team to improve his strength and technique, and create form that will see him through to the next stage of his career.

Eliot tests and trains current and aspiring professional athletes using highly sophisticated data capture techniques. The most talented players attend the P3 facility to gain a competitive edge. Internationally, Dr Eliot is at the absolute forefront of “objectifying human movement and physical systems of sport.”

In this episode, we explore the use of advanced data in the NBA and look at how data analytics helps athletes improve performance, recover from injury and—in the case of Perry Jones—realise their dreams.

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