2021 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones is excited to be in New York

By DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Author

NEW YORK — After spending her entire career in Connecticut, Jonquel Jones was ready for a change.

So she looked around and decided that New York would be the right place for her to continue her WNBA career.

“I am pleased to be here. I’m excited to be part of this organization,” Jones said. “When I played against Liberty last year, I saw a change in culture. The way they played, high-octane basketball. For me, I wanted to be a part of it. Being in a city like New York speaks for itself. Felt like the right move. I know it’s the right move for this chapter in my life.”

The 2021 MVP was unveiled by the Liberty at a press conference on Friday, a few days after the team traded for them in a three-team deal with the Connecticut Sun and Dallas Wings.

People also read…

  • The 88-year-old White Castle in Whiting, one of the first in the Chicago area, is being demolished to be replaced by a new restaurant
  • UPDATE: Merrillville High School is hiring additional counselors after a deadly student shooting
  • JERRY DAVICH: US Steel Retiree Recalls His First Day: ‘Go Upstairs With The Other Skinny (N-Words)’
  • Regional hotelier Bruce White has died at the age of 70
  • Motorcyclist found lying on road; State police are asking for information
  • Woman died in burning SUV that was starting to ‘go crazy’; Doors could not be unlocked
  • Historic houses demolished in Marktown, renovation program on the horizon
  • Round the Clock, Martini’s is featured on America’s Best Restaurants show
  • Craft beer bar Beer Geeks in Highland is closing to reopen as a B-Side Bar & Lounge
  • Unconscious motorist grabbed with meth with foot on brake, Portage police say
  • Porter County woman charged with online sales fraud says she’s an “honest seller,” police say
  • Pedestrians hit and killed in crash in region, police say
  • Incarcerated man found dead after fire broke out at Indiana state penitentiary, IDOC says
  • Toadzilla, a giant cane toad found in Australia, could be a record breaker
  • Man stole iPhone in supermarket car park

“Anytime you get a chance to get someone like that, jump at it,” said Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb. “Players like Jonquel are not often available. Mating her with Sabrina (Ionescu) is exciting. They will be a dynamic duo for a very long time.”

Kolb said he had a Liberty jersey for Jones in his office for a year in hopes she might be available. She still had a year left on her contract with the Sun before telling the organization she wanted to play elsewhere that season.

The 6-foot-6 All-Star averaged 14.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks last season to help Connecticut reach the WNBA Finals for the second time in four seasons.

“Obviously we haven’t achieved what we set out to do[in Connecticut],” Jones said. “My goal as an athlete, I wanted to enter a new situation and a new organization and improve myself.”

Jones, 29, who hails from the Bahamas, joins a young New York squad led by Sabrina Ionescu and Betnijah Laney, who have lost in the opening round of the playoffs for the past two years. Jones was the No. 6 draft pick in 2016 and was the league’s most-improved player in 2017. She received sixth woman of the year honors the next season before earning MVP three years later.

“The sky’s the limit for them,” said Liberty coach Sandy Brondello. “The goal is to keep improving their game with the players we have here. It fits perfectly.”

New York isn’t done moving yet. The league’s free agency begins Saturday and the Liberty are in line to potentially add former MVP Breanna Stewart, who hails from New York State. Jones played with Stewart on overseas teams and said she will do whatever is asked of her to recruit free agents.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.