USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters



Does Jonquel Jones' Bahamian heritage give her a unique edge in the WNBA?

July 20. That’s the date when the Team USA women’s basketball will be tested by the WNBA All-Star Team. While Caitlin Clark topped fan votes, a majority of the selected athletes had already been recruited to ply their trade in the Paris Olympics. Among other athletes, one who made it to the All-Star team is Jonquel Jones. Though her game is astounding not much is known about her ethnicity and birthplace. For starters, it would come as a surprise that Jones is Bahamian.

She had a life that was caught between doing what she wanted and listening to others since she had grown up in a collective community. And Jones moved to the USA at a young age to prepare for the next chapter of her life, while her heart rested miles away in a land that was known for fun and merriment. Let’s take a look at Jones’s early life. 

Jonquel Jones’s Ethnicity and Early Years


Article continues below this ad

Jones was born on January 5, 1994, in Freeport Bahamas. Growing up an entire community surrounded her. As a kid, she learned the Bahamian groove by Tony Seymour, which shows her attachment to the culture.

Poll of the day

What aspect of Jonquel Jones' early life do you find most inspiring?

Her Bahamian roots

Her journey to the WNBA

Her resilience and determination

Her academic achievements

Therefore, even though now she plays for the USA and spends the majority of her time in the USA, she still considers the Bahamas as her real home. During her childhood, she took on activities that demanded a high level of adrenaline like riding a bike and burning rubber on asphalt streets. 

In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Jones revealed that she wants her kids to be raised the same way she was: learning the importance of community, and forming close connections with those around. She had a host of experiences with her eldest brother David Adderley. Though the two had a 19-year difference, nonetheless, Jones had a great time with Adderley. They had shared a love for anime, comics, and video games.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jonquel Q Jones (@jus242)

Adderley gifted his sister a Nintendo GameCube on a Christmas morning. Hence even as a child, Jones learned the values of living collectivity and giving and taking gifts. Moreover, incidents like these solidified the bonds with her brother.

Jonquel Jones learns basketball

It was around the same time that Jones imbibed balling skills from her dad who used to coach a group of boys. In an otherwise collectivist environment, Jones got the chance to know her individuality and discover her purpose when playing ball. It helped her make her moves, understand her game, and most importantly not be guided by anyone every time. 

While Jones was being taught feminine qualities, basketball gave her a break where she could block her opponents, execute rebounds, and also get a little rough when the situation demanded. All this helped develop Jones as per her will. But with her growing prowess, life presented Jones with some more chances, that took away her time in the Bahamas.

As Jones grew up she started progressing in the balling circuits. So much so that by the time she reached middle school, her game was considered better for the opportunities that lay in the Bahamas. It was then that the current Mississippi head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin saw Jones and asked if she wanted to move to the USA to pursue her talents.

Jonquel Jones leaves the Bahamas

McPhee-McCuin’s dad was the coach of the Jones team. After a number of calls and visits, finally, Jones finally left her heart behind and moved to the USA. She started plying her trade at the Riverdale Baptist School in Maryland. Though the USA wasn’t particularly hostile to her, Jones still missed her home.

via Getty

In the USA, she used to play for Diane Richardson who also became her guardian. Richardson’s husband loaned Jones her shoes which were her first steps towards sports in a professional way since she had landed in America. Jones was so specific about her practice that sometimes she would pay ball for straight six hours. She followed every instruction and drill taught by Richardson without fussing over anything. It is this hard work that has helped her climb the ladder. And since then she has grown in leaps and bounds both in her game and stature.


Article continues below this ad

Jones was the MVP in the 2021 WNBA season, a feat that reflects how vital she is to the WNBA. She has had the chance to play in 5 WNBA All-Star teams with the most recent one being the 2024 that has been announced now.

In the current season, Jones averages 16 points per game with 8.9 rebounds per game. Therefore, her hard work has been paying her off all this while. But behind closed doors, a corner of her heart still yearns for her home – the self-satisfied philosophy of the Bahamas, one that had taken innumerable calls and visits just so that Jones could leave that life behind and move to the USA.


Article continues below this ad

Stay tuned for more such updates, and to follow what Shaq’s ex-agent, Leonard Armato, has to say about the infamous Shaq-Kobe feud, Caitlin Clark’s Olympic snub, and more, watch this video.