Uncasville, Conn. (July 11, 2017) – Connecticut Sun forward Jonquel Jones and guard Jasmine Thomas were both named starters for Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017 on Tuesday afternoon.
It is the first All-Star selection for both players, who will represent the Eastern Conference at the game on July 22 at Key Arena in Seattle. It will be broadcast live on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET. This is the first time that the Sun will have two starters in the game since the 2006 season when they had three (Lindsay Whalen, Margo Dydek and Nykesha Sales).
“I’m really excited that we have two All-Star starters,” Sun head coach and general manager Curt Miller said. “I think it’s a reflection of team success. Those two will be the first to give credit back to their teammates. It’s a team effort. We don’t play through one person on this team, we share the basketball, and those two exemplify that.”
Jones, in just her second season in the league, leads the WNBA with 201 rebounds, an average of 11.8 per game, and is on pace to challenge the single season mark of 398 set by Tina Charles in 2010. The Eastern Conference Player of the Month for June, the 6-foot-6 forward has recorded nine double-doubles so far this season and has scored in double-figures 13 times while grabbing double-figure rebounding totals in 11 games.
In a victory at Chicago on May 28th, Jones became just the 13th player in WNBA history to record a 20-20 game, finishing with a then career-high of 23 points and a career-best 21 rebounds. It was just the 17th such game in league history. Jones also became just the third player in WNBA history – joining Charles and Sylvia Fowles – to collect multiple 20-rebound games in the same season. She had 20 rebounds in the season opener against Atlanta on May 13th.
“To me it means a lot in my second year in the league,” Jones said of being named a starter. “It’s a credit to everybody that is a part of this organization, from the coaches believing in me to my teammates staying in my ear. I’m really happy that I have this opportunity and I’m happy I can do this for Connecticut.”
The Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the week of June 26-July 2, Thomas is in the midst of another career year for Connecticut. She has already tied her single-season career-high for made three pointers with 35 on 73 attempts and ranks third in the WNBA in three point shooting percentage at 47.9 percent. The point guard is second on the team in scoring behind Jones, averaging 15 points per game.
At San Antonio on July 5th, Thomas collected her 700th career assist and set a new career-high in that category with 11 against Atlanta on June 10th. She also set a career-high with 29 points in a win over Seattle on June 29th. The 5-9 guard leads the team with 83 assists, good for fifth in the league with an average of 5.2 per game. She is second on the team with 23 steals.
“It has not been a straight path to get here,” Thomas said. “Three teams and seven seasons later it definitely feels good. I’m super excited and happy to be with my teammate. I’m definitely excited and it means a lot. For the people who voted for me, the media, everybody to believe in me that much, it wouldn’t be possible without being on a team like I am. I feel like I’m representing Connecticut there.”
The duo is joined by Tina Charles, Elena Delle Donne and Tiffany Hayes as Eastern Conference starters. Starters for the Western Conference are Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Candace Parker, Sylvia Fowles and Sue Bird. Reserves will be selected by WNBA head coaches and announced during the ESPN2 broadcast of Chicago at Seattle on July 18th.
The Sun will be in action next on Wednesday, July 12th when they take on the Seattle Storm at Key Arena at 3 p.m. ET. After a game in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 13th at 10 p.m. ET, Connecticut returns home to take on the San Antonio Stars for Dog Days of Summer on Sunday, July 16th. Game time is set for 3 p.m. GET TICKETS