After missing training camp and all of the Connecticut Sun’s preseason games, Jonquel Jones was present for the team’s season opener, and made an immediate impact.
In a 101-65 win over the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday, Jones put up seven points, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks in just 19 minutes of action.
After her season ended in China, Jones enjoyed a lengthy break back home in The Bahamas with family and friends, however, it lasted a bit longer than she would’ve liked.
“I had to renew my work visa over here in the U.S., because I don’t want to get deported while I’m playing,” said Jones, who arrived Thursday, just in time to prepare for Sunday’s opener.
“I initially had an appointment, but I missed it because of some family stuff going on, and because of that it set me back. So, that was the reason I ended up coming late.”
Prior to Sunday’s game, Sun coach Curt Miller said he knew Jones would have to knock off some rust after being away for so long, but he’s glad to have such a pivotal part of the team back.
The 6-foot-6 Jones, who averaged a team-high 15.4 points and 11.9 rebounds, was a key component to Connecticut’s success last season. She set WNBA records for total rebounds (403), rebound average and defensive rebounds (280).
“Sigh of relief that she’s back finally and excited, obviously,” Miller said.
“She just brings a different element to our team. She’s going to have to shake the rust off. A 19-day training camp that she missed nearly all of, it will affect her, but I can’t tell you how excited we are to have her back.”
Alyssa Thomas had 13 points, 16 rebounds and six assists to lead the Sun on Sunday. Every active player on Connecticut’s roster scored at least two points in the win.