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Jonquel Jones Epitomizes Bright Future of WNBA

Release: 07/25/2017
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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

 The following is an excerpt from a story written by Justin Lester about former George Washington women's basketball star Jonquel Jones. The entire story can be viewed on www.WNBA.com.

The future of the league was on display, and does it ever look bright. Jonquel Jones, Breanna Stewart, Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams were among the first-time All-Stars putting on a show at KeyArena with one highlight-reel play after another. The Eastern Conference alone had eight players making their All-Star debuts. 

“It's fun right now in the East. There's a lot of young talent,” East coach Curt Miller said after the game, which the West won 130-121. “You look at the West, and it's kind of a tale of two stories. Some of the players are in the fourth quarter of their career. But there are a lot of young faces in this league that are poised to be the faces of the future, and a lot of those reside in the East right now.”

The fans in Seattle know what Stewart, the reigning Rookie of the Year, can do on a nightly basis. In watching Jones on Saturday, they witnessed a very similar player nailing three-pointers, running the break like a point guard and even throwing down a dunk.

They saw Gray dish a nifty behind-the-back pass, something she has done often while averaging a career-high 4.3 assists as part of her breakout season. They saw Williams – who ranks second in the league in blocks – rise for a monster rejection late in the third quarter.

Out of all the young players on the court, however, it was Jones and her versatility that stood out the most.

Anybody who watched that game would not be shocked if Jones becomes the best player in the entire WNBA at some point. She had an MVP-caliber performance: 24 points, 10-of-15 shooting, 3-for-8 from three-point range and nine rebounds.

On numerous occasions, she grabbed a defensive board and just took it down the court herself, flashing a handle that you simply don't see from 6-foot-6 centers. Jones once ran the break and used a behind-the-back move to dribble around a defender and kick out to an open teammate. Her one-handed dunk in the final minute put the finishing touches on a breakout performance.


 

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