June 22, 2020 

Jonquel Jones opts out of the 2020 season

What does it mean for the Connecticut Sun?

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Jonquel Jones. Photo by Domenic Allegra

On June 22, the Connecticut Sun announced that Jonquel Jones would be sitting out the 2020 WNBA season. Alexa Philippou was first to report it.

Jones, who has been in the Bahamas since leaving Russia said, “This was one of the toughest decisions I’ve made but the resurgence and unknown aspects of COVID -19 have raised serious health concerns that I do not feel comfortable competing in.”

She said she would be using her time this summer to focus on personal, social and familial growth. 

In the team-released statement, Sun general manager and head coach Curt Miller indicated that the organization fully supports Jones’ decision to sit out. 

“We recognize the amount of unique challenges, sacrifices, and unknowns this season presents, and from the top down, there is an unwavering commitment to support each player’s respective decision,” Miller said. “We look forward to having JJ back leading us next summer.”

Jones also said, “I’d like to thank the Connecticut Sun organization,​ my teammates and fans for their unwavering support and understanding. While I won’t be competing this year I’m looking forward to lacing up with my teammates in 2021 and continuing the pursuit for a WNBA championship. Wishing the entire league and everyone involved a healthy and enjoyable season. Go Sun!”

The Sun will certainly feel Jones’ absence this summer as she averaged 14.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.0 blocks per game during the regular season and 17.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the playoffs. 

While her scoring ability is undeniable, Jones also led the league in total rebounds (330) and blocks (68) last season. 

However, her game is more than just numbers. Jones was capable of doing almost everything on the floor, whether it be passing and tallying up assists or making threes. Her length and ability to find the ball no matter where it is will surely be missed by her coaches and teammates. 

Connecticut will not be able to replace Jones’ productivity with just one player and will likely look to everyone on the team to pick up some of the slack. Returning bigs Theresa Plaisance and Bri Jones should get expanded roles, while the Sun will rely even more on Alyssa Thomas’ rebounding.

Written by Natalie Heavren

Natalie Heavren has been covering women’s basketball since February 2019 and currently covers both the Atlantic 10 and the WNBA.

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