It’s no secret Connecticut Sun center Jonquel Jones is one talented basketball player.
But it hasn’t come without some sacrifice.
As of fall 2018, Jones earned her Bosnian and Herzegovinan citizenship, a decision she made to assure she’s able to take advantage of certain European leagues. And it certainly wasn’t an easy choice for the Bahamas native.
“It was really difficult,” Jones told the Hartford Courant’s Dom Amore. “I needed to help my family more, help myself more, set up my financial future a little bit better. The Bahamian national team, there is a certain level of professionalism that wasn’t there. If it was there, I would have stayed with the Bahamian national team. But it just wasn’t there. I felt like the women’s team was a second option; they weren’t focused on us.”
That was an opportunity she simply couldn’t pass up.
Now, Jones plans on taking “all she has used abroad,” per Amore, and develop her own basketball camp in the Bahamas in hopes the opportunity can help showcase the raw talent in the Bahamas.
“I want women’s, or girls basketball in the Bahamas to be a little bit better,” she said. “When I was living there, we played maybe seven games, maybe two or three in the playoffs and that was the season. I think we have a lot of raw talent, people that can do a lot of things, but they need to hone their skills. I want to make it so we have a few AAU teams in the Bahamas, and they can come over and compete with the AAU teams here, which would mean we’re on the same level of play as the American players. Because I think we can do it.”
And she’s got plenty of support behind her.
“She could play any sport she wanted to, that’s how gifted she was,” Sacramento Kings (and Jones’ childhood friend) Buddy Hield said during a recent Sun broadcast. “… She’s a blessing for the Bahamas and the league. She’s been a really great inspiration for everybody back home.”
“The Bahamas is important to her,” Sun coach Curt Miller said. “and she has a chance to become an iconic figure for that country. She is elite in everything she does, but that’s her heart. That’s her heart in every area.”
Jones certainly takes the phrase “girl power” to a whole new level.
Thumbnail photo via Connecticut Sun