When Jay-Z sits courtside at Brooklyn Nets games, he is only a few feet away from Popeye Jones. Now comes word that the two could get closer. Seth Jones, Popeye’s hockey-playing son, is the latest high-profile athlete that Jay-Z would like to sign for Roc Nation Sports.
Seth is certainly a top prize. He is enormously athletic and skilled and is likely the overall #1 pick in the NHL Draft on June 30 at the Prudential Center in Newark. He could also become hockey’s first African-American “crossover star” and with some careful marketing and promotion lead to a new audience for the sport. As one writer noted, the combination could make hockey “cool” again after its season was devastated by a long lockout.
All three of Jones sons took up hockey when he was playing for the Nuggets and the family lived in the Denver suburbs.
“All of the kids played street hockey. When it got cold, all the kids said they were going inside to play ice hockey,” the dad said. “Just being a sports guy, growing up playing basketball, football and baseball, it didn’t matter what sport they played. Sports are meant to be fun. Kids learn camaraderie and teamwork and stuff like that.”
It helped that the Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche shared a weight room, and the elder Jones received advice from Avalanche captain Joe Sakic. Seth quickly became a standout. This season, he led the United States to the World Junior Championship in Russia was officially named the No. 1 North American prospect for the National Hockey League
Jay-Z has already signed Robinson Cano and has been linked to Victor Cruz, Nerlens Noel and now Jones.