June 22, 2022 | ESPN.com
ALREADY 22 HOURS into her journey, and with the final leg of her 6,000-mile trip still to go, tears prick the corners of Jonquel Jones‘ eyes. The 6-foot-6 Connecticut Sun forward stretches her legs as much as she can in her exit-row seat. She needs more space, but mostly she needs more sleep.
It’s been a long 27 hours since she strode off the court at Mohegan Sun Arena after leading the Sun to their 13th consecutive victory, beating the New York Liberty 98-69 on Sept. 15, 2021. Jones scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. She woke up four hours later, climbed into a car at 2 a.m. and was driven 120 miles to New York to catch a six-hour flight to Los Angeles. From there, it was another hour ride, a day’s work and then back to the airport to board this 9 p.m. flight to Connecticut. Ahead of her still: a 90-minute ride home to her apartment in southeastern Connecticut, where she can snuggle her Goldendoodles and sink her head into her pillow.
She is supposed to have practice tomorrow — or is it today? — but thankfully, coach Curt Miller understood the significance of this trip, so he gave her the day off.
Cramming the whirlwind trek into the stretch run of her MVP-caliber WNBA season might not have been the smartest thing to do for her body, but it was important to Jones to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
“When you see State Farm commercials, they’re everywhere,” Jones says.