The Connecticut Sun team of he Woken's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is expected to be without its star center/forward Jonquel Jones for the next four games, as she is set to compete in the 2021 FIBA (International Federation of Basketball) Women’s EuroBasket.
The recently named Eastern Conference Player of the Week will be representing Bosnia and Team Herzegovina June 13-22 in Strasbourg, France, as they seek to qualify for the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. Jones could possibly miss an additional two games in the WNBA, depending on where her team finishes in group play. Therefore the 6’6’’ super star could actually be away from the Sun until June 29, 2021, with games in the EuroBasket tournament slated for June 27 and 29.
Before going on her brief hiatus, Jones ensured that she would leave on a high-note, as during this past Saturday’s (June 5) contest against the New York Liberty, the Grand Bahamian native had her best game of the season. Behind Jones’ 31 points, 13 rebounds and three assists, the Sun rolled to an 85-64 win, pushing the win/loss record to 8-2, the best in the league currently.
Jones shared that the team has some added motivation, which has sparked the blistering start to the season. She believes that with consistent communication, the team can thrive and should continue to do so.
“People always seem to count us out of everything. We play with a chip on our shoulders every day.
“It’s going to take a lot of communication and the emphasis to get better every day. Teams now realize we are the squad to beat so we have to understand that we will get everyone’s best effort moving forward,” said Jones.
Along with the spotlight shining on the Sun as a team, comes the Most Valuable Player debate. For the first time in her career, Jones is averaging over 20 points per game (21.6 points per game), which is a career-high. She is also currently leading the league in rebounds, once again, with 10.4 rebounds per game and dishing out a career-high three assists nightly.
With careful optimism, Jones appreciates the notoriety as a league-MVP candidate. Nonetheless, she is focused on the team’s success even more.
“It feels good (being in the conversation) but I understand that the MVP is an award given to a player on a winning team. First and foremost winning matters but I’m happy to be in the conversation because I’ve worked hard on my game.
“I feel like people have taken notice not just of me but the awesome team that we have in Connecticut. Now it’s our job to play great ball the remainder of the season and show the world in the playoffs.”
Meanwhile, in Jones’ absence, the Sun will take on the defending champion Seattle Storm on June 13, followed by back to back contests against the Chicago Sky on June 17 and 19, and the Dallas Wings on June 22.
Should Jones be absent June 27 and 29, the Sun will have to go without its leading player when they take on the Sky again, on June 27, and the Washington Mystics on June 29.