Jonquel Jones is one talented basketball player.
But before her hoops career took off, the Connecticut Sun center expected to play a different sport professionally: soccer.
“I was good, and I would let you know about it!” Jones wrote in a recent Players’ Tribune article.
So good, in fact, she even made The Bahamas’ youth national soccer team.
Jones was so confident in her soccer abilities as a child, she would jokingly tell her father he’d “better be nice” or else she wouldn’t take care of him when she went pro (a story she said her mother still loves to tell.)
“In my mind, I was going to be the greatest soccer player in the world,” Jones wrote.
But things changed when she was 12 years old after a coach on the youth national team sat her down and prodded her with questions about whether she had feelings for a fellow female teammate.
“That one conversation made me lose my love for the game,” she wrote. “It was something so innocent and pure … and then I couldn’t even look at a soccer ball without feeling pain.”
So instead, Jones began investing all her energy into basketball. And her skills impressed yet again.
“It wasn’t like: ‘Hey, can the girl play?’ It was like: ‘Jonquel is always out here, killing it, balling,‘” she wrote.
She even built a friendship with fellow Bahamian Buddy Hield, who currently plays for the Sacramento Kings. Believe it or not, the two were both drafted No. 6 overall in their respective drafts back in 2016.
“Man. That’s gotta be fate. Or it’s gotta be something,” she wrote.
Jones now is a two-time WNBA All-Star and currently leads the league in both blocks and rebounds per game. The 6-foot-6 center’s road to success certainly wasn’t simple, but it definitely has paid off.