With less fanfare, Jones is comparable to Hield
Fred Sturrup will be out of office this week and will return on May 29. There will be no current Sports Scope columns until Wednesday May 30. The Nassau Guardian Sports Section will run some of its file Sports Scope columns during this time.
Competition among male athletes gets much more attention than the sporting exploits of females. That’s customary.
So it is that while Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield is garnering supremely high national recognition among the expert observers, players, fans and the media, fellow Grand Bahamian Jonquel Jones, who has been equally as magnificent, or even more so, is operating with less fanfare.
However, just how Hield, the sensational shooting guard for the Sacramento Kings, has risen to prominence, the same is true for Jones, the big forward/center for the Connecticut Sun.
Today, the focus is on Jones.
She was one of the top choices in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft in 2016, and had a productive first two years for the Sun. Last year, she was the league’s most improved player, made the all-star game for the first time, and broke the single season record for rebounds. Women’s basketball occupies a much smaller market than the men in the United States.
Professional franchises in the National Basketball Association (NBA) make millions of dollars each season on the strength and attraction of talented male basketball players.
The women don’t entice the kind of advertising attention to generate nearly as much money as their male counterparts. Therefore, while Jones is stellar at recording double-doubles and is the leading rebounder in the WNBA, she and her peers have little choice but to settle for less accolades and national headlines.
The situation though, takes nothing away from what she is accomplishing. After her WNBA season a year ago, Jones ventured to China and played with the Shanxi Xing Rui Flame in the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA). She was the league’s Most Valuable Player. The year before, she played with the Woori Bank Wibee in the Women’s Korean Basketball League in South Korea following her inaugural WNBA season, and led them to the league title.
In college with the George Washington Colonials, she was a conference player of the year. She is a double-double machine on a nightly basis, and arguably the best female rebounder the world over.
Jones cheerfully admits to being an enthusiastic player who simply does what needs to be done on the court.
She is valued highly, and is deserving of any accolade she receives.
Continued best wishes Jonquel!
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at [email protected] or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363)