Saturday, Jun 6, 2020
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Jones with another all-star-type season developing, leads Sun

Just before beginning this column, I went to the website and voted for Bahamian Jonquel Jones to be on the women’s professional basketball league’s all-star squad this season. She is a former all-star, past winner of the Most Improved Player Award and the reigning Sixth Woman of the Year recipient. Presently, she figures prominently in all of the key statistical areas.

On Sunday, with her usual double-double (scoring 13 points and pulling down 11 rebounds), recording six assists and three blocked shots, Jones anchored a Connecticut Sun 81-67 victory over the defending champion Seattle Storm. She led her team in rebounds, assists and blocks. A torrid start has the Sun with an 8-1 win-loss record and easily in the top squad in the WNBA.

As of Sunday, the Chicago Sky team was 4-2, two and a half games back; while the Washington Mystics, Las Vegas Aces and Los Angeles Sparks, were all at 4-3, three back. At this point in the season, not only is Jones registering all-star performances, she is making a run for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. As unassuming as ever, the Holmes Rock, Grand Bahama native, just goes about her business with efficiency and productivity.

She does it all. The strong view held here is that Jones is the most versatile female professional basketball player in the world. No other big player (she is 6’ 6”) can put the ball on the floor and exhibit the kind of fluid handle that is second nature to Jones, and shoot the ball the way she does. She can take the ball to the hoop, hit the mid-range shots, and, also step back in three-point territory and bury the ball in the net.

On defense, she is a nightmare for opposing teams. Her efforts against Seattle led to a +18 performance rating. For the season, Jones is averaging 30.8 minutes; is the sixth best scorer at 17.2 per game; leads at 2.7 in blocks; is first at 12.0 in rebounds; and Jones (25.2) ranks second to Phoenix Mercury’s Dewanna Bonner (26.8) in game efficiency.

She is indeed playing at a level that could result in her making more basketball history for The Bahamas.

It was two seasons ago when Bahamians gave her quite a push with votes, when she achieved all-star status for the first time. The call goes out for a repeat collective national effort. The voting is quite simple, the process very easy to follow. Just go to the website, look for All-Sar Voting, hit ‘How to Vote’ and continue.

The congenial sports ambassador is worthy of our votes. The center/forward from George Washington University, in her fourth season, is going beyond being the undisputed greatest Bahamian female basketball player. Her credentials are adding up. If she can win a championship or more, I submit, Jones will be right there in the conversation with Mychal Thompson (the two-time Los Angeles Lakers championship achiever) as the best ever Bahamian-born, in basketball.

At the moment, she is ahead of male peers Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield of the Sacramento Kings and DeAndre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns.

Let’s get the votes rolling in!

Go Jonquel!

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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