Spotlight On Asjha Jones

The Hartford Courant

Graduated from UConn in the Top 10 in games played (144) and blocks (151). She also scored 1,502 points and had 794 rebounds. Jones helped the Huskies to their 39-0 national championship season in 2002 and was named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team in 2000 and 2002, when she was also a third-team All-American. She also excelled academically and was named the UConn Club's outstanding senior scholar-athlete in 2002. Jones was named to the Big East tournament's All-Tournament team three times.

WNBA highlights: Was the first-round pick of the Washington Mystics in 2002 and has slowly developed into one of the top post players in the league. The Sun acquired her before the 2004 season and she originally came off the bench. But since 2007 she has been a mainstay in the starting lineup, albeit one bothered by a series of injuries. She missed the last 11 games in 2009 with a strained left Achilles' that was still bothering her when training camp began this season. She is a two-time All-Star and was Connecticut's only All-Star in 2009 when she averaged 16.7 points. She has averaged 11.1 in 253 career games.

International play: Jones has enjoyed a diverse and lucrative international career. She has played in Russia (five years), Italy and China since joining the WNBA. For the last three years he has been with EuroLeague powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg. She has also been involved with USA Basketball and will be given an opportunity to make the 2010 World Championship Team.

Life after UConn: With the trade of Lindsay Whalen to Minnesota in the offseason, Jones is now the veteran member of the Sun. But she will likely play this season, her ninth in the WNBA and seventh with the Sun, with a eye constantly on the condition of her left Achilles'. "I don't know how to answer the question, 'How am I feeling,' " Jones said. "I'm not perfect, but I am better."

It's been bothering her for more than a year and when training camp began she hadn't significantly tested the leg since returning this winter from a half-season with Ekaterinburg.

"Things bother athletes all the time and then they go away," Jones said. "It's your job, things are going to hurt and you do your best to fight through it. But this year, that didn't happen when I played on it. It's very frustrating. I am a person who is used to always being on the court."

"She's getting better, but we're more interested in being as cautious as we can," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "I don't want Asjha playing until everyone [in the organization] is comfortable with it. I'll live with it. The long haul is the most important thing. I don't want her re-injuring herself because she came back too soon."

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