The latest ESPN Cover Story featuring Connecticut Sun forward and reigning WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones debuts today across the network’s digital, linear and social platforms. ESPN Cover Story is the sports fan’s monthly ticket to the biggest stories on the most captivating athletes – told with inside access, bold reporting and unforgettable visuals.
Jones grew up in Freeport, Bahamas, with her extended family. She was often told what she was supposed to do, wear and how to act. On the court, though, none of that mattered and she would always find ways to play as much as possible. Basketball helped Jones discover herself and embrace her identity. Jones came to the United States in high school to play for Riverdale Baptist School. She won Maryland’s Gatorade Player of the Year award and was named a WBCA All-American before playing collegiately at Clemson and George Washington. In 2016, she was the sixth overall pick in the WNBA Draft.
Since then, Jones has earned almost every on-court accolade available. She was named the WNBA’s Most Improved Player (2017), Sixth Woman of the Year (2018) and MVP (2021). Jones has the game, personality and even a compelling origin story. Yet few outside of the WNBA faithful are aware of Jones’ impact across the sport and beyond.
Jones, who is Black and gay and describes herself as more masculine, sits at an intersection that has traditionally struggled to attract brands and media, even as the WNBA itself has become the most LGBTQIA+ inclusive professional sports league in the United States. Jones knows this season could be different. Maybe it will be the one when she finally wins a title, when she can be herself, and when her diversity is rewarded on and off the court.
For this ESPN Cover Story, features writer Katie Barnes talks with Jones about her personal journey towards becoming the face of the WNBA while embracing her identity.
The ESPN Cover Story: Jonquel Jones video feature will air across SportsCenter throughout the day, along with a full digital package on the ESPN App and original storytelling across social.
More information on ESPN Cover Story can be found here.
Media Contacts: Michael Skarka [email protected]