Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones won't play this season over coronavirus concerns

Jonquel Jones, who helped lead Connecticut to the WNBA Finals last season, won't play this season due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, the Sun announced Monday. Jones said in a statement that she would "use this time to focus on personal, social, and familial growth.

"This was one of the toughest decisions I've made, but the resurgence and unknown aspects of COVID -19 have raised serious health concerns that I do not feel comfortable competing in. I'd like to thank the Connecticut Sun organization, my teammates and fans for their unwavering support and understanding."

Jones, a 6-foot-6 post player, averaged 14.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks last season, her fourth in the WNBA. Jones, 26, is from Freeport, Bahamas, and was the No. 6 pick out of George Washington in the 2016 WNBA draft.

"While I won't be competing this year, I'm looking forward to lacing up with my teammates in 2021 and continuing the pursuit for a WNBA championship," Jones said. "Wishing the entire league and everyone involved a healthy and enjoyable season."

Last week, the WNBA announced plans to play a 22-game regular season with standard playoffs in Bradenton, Florida, starting in late July and ending in October. The Women's National Basketball Players Association voted to accept the league's proposal, with 77 percent of players voting yes.

Atlanta guard Renee Montgomery announced last week that she was sitting out the season but said her reason was to focus on social justice initiatives. Players must inform their teams by Thursday whether they are playing this season.

Sun head coach and general manager Curt Miller said, "We recognize the amount of unique challenges, sacrifices and unknowns this season presents, and from the top down there is an unwavering commitment to support each player's respective decision. We look forward to having JJ back leading us next summer."