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WNBA Star Decides To Sit Out Of The 2020 Season

A photo of a WNBA basketball.

5 Jun 2001: A shot of the WNBA Basket Ball during the game between the Washington Mystics and the Sacramento Monarchs at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. The Mystics defeated the Monarchs 75-72. (Doug Pensinger /Allsport)

The coronavirus has become an increasingly big concern of professional athletes looking to avoid potential exposure. Though most sports appear intent on plowing through the pandemic, one WNBA star is ready to sit it out.

On Monday, the Connecticut Sun announced that All-Star center Jonquel Jones is "opting out" for the 2020 season. Jones expressed deep concerns over the "resurgence and unknown aspects of COVID-19" and health risks.

“After careful thought and consideration I’ve decided to forego the upcoming WNBA season and use this time to focus on personal, social, and familial growth,” said Jones. “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. 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. Wishing the entire league and everyone involved a healthy and enjoyable season. Go Sun!”

Head coach and GM Curt Miller expressed his support for Jones' decision, citing "these unprecedented times." He said the team will show unwavering support to every player's decision on this matter.

“On behalf of our entire organization, we fully support JJ’s difficult decision to sit out the 2020 WNBA season during these unprecedented times,” Miller said. “We recognize the amount of unique challenges, sacrifices, and unknowns this season presents. 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.”

Jones is one of the WNBA's top centers. She was an All-Star in 2019 and has not missed a start in four years.

In 2017, Jones set a WNBA record by averaging 11.9 rebounds per game. She would go on to lead the league in rebounds again this past year with 9.7 per game.

It will definitely be interesting to see if Jones' decision starts to become a trend among players as more and more leagues come closer to resuming activities.