Sun Sign Jones To Contract Extension

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (Sept. 2, 2011) – The Connecticut Sun announced it has signed veteran forward Asjha Jones to a three-year contract extension.

Terms were not released.

“Going into the season, signing Asjha to an extension was a top priority,” Sun Vice President and General Manager Chris Sienko said. “Asjha has been a leader on our team for eight years, and we are happy that she wants to continue on with us. Asjha is synonymous with Connecticut Sun basketball, and we would be foolish to let her take her abilities elsewhere.”

Jones is currently in the midst of her best season since 2008, averaging 13.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. She has a single-season career best five double-doubles, all in the month of August, and she has reached double figures in 23 games this year. Jones tied a franchise record with 13 made field goals at Phoenix on August 7th, and averaged 14.7 points and 7.2 rebounds during the 13 games played in August.

"I am elated that we have signed Asjha for the next three years,” Coach Mike Thibault said. “She has been a major part of the success of this franchise for eight years, and has elevated herself to one of the top power forwards in the history of the WNBA. Her consistency and professionalism both on and off the court has made her invaluable in our past successes, and in our current rebirth. She has grown into the leadership role on this team and has been the perfect model for our younger players on how to approach their jobs on a daily basis. Her return to good health has been a major key in our improvement from last season to this season. I am looking forward to her being able to realize her dream of winning a WNBA Championship and playing the rest of her career with the Connecticut Sun."

Originally drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics, Jones was traded to the Sun on March 25, 2004 in a three-way deal that also included the Phoenix Mercury.

“I’m really happy,” Jones said. “I want to play as long as I can. This (three years) is the most they’ll let me sign for. It’s the league max.”

Since joining the Sun, Jones has played in 247 games, collecting 3,045 points and 1,272 rebounds in a Connecticut uniform. She is ranks second in franchise history in all three categories. Jones also shares the single-season team scoring record with Katie Douglas (17 ppg.), and has the franchise record for most consecutive double-figure scoring games (18).

A former UConn star who helped lead the Huskies to an undefeated National Championship in 2002, Jones helped the Sun reach consecutive WNBA Finals in 2004 and 2005, and she was a key contributor to Sun teams that won 26 regular-season games in back-to-back seasons (2005-06). She scored her 3,500th career point against Atlanta on August 21st, and needs four rebounds to reach 1,500.