January quietly making her mark at Sun camp
Mohegan — Jessica January has a bit of ink on her.
January has one tattoo on her right shoulder that is hidden when she wears anything other than a basketball jersey. She has another tattoo that's very front and center on her left forearm that reads "Quiet Storm."
"It's just kind of a reflection of my personality," January said. "I'm an introvert. I'm not always the most vocal or always talking, but when I have to, I can.
"You may not always hear me, but I'm competitive, so you always feel my presence."
January has made her presence felt after over a week at Connecticut Sun training camp. The rookie point guard out of DePaul is in a fight to earn one of the few open spots on the team's roster and will have her first chance to impress under game conditions tonight when the Sun play host to the Chicago Sky in their first preseason game (Mohegan Sun Arena, 7 p.m.).
"She has a good basketball IQ," Sun coach Curt Miller said about January. "She's a rugged player. … She's handling the pressure (starting point guard) Jasmine (Thomas) can put on her. Being a rookie point guard is not always a fun experience and she's really handled it well. She's made an impression."
Connecticut selected January with the 28th overall pick (third round) in April's WNBA Draft. Miller believes she was a potential second-round pick had she not broken her right index finger in game against Georgetown last Dec. 28.
"I took a charge," January said. "I fell back and I broke my finger (trying to break her fall). But we got the call. It was a routine (play). I took charges all the time, so it was just a freak thing."
The odds are always against any WNBA rookie who wasn't drafted in the first round. A team won't luck into a star in the later rounds like other professional sports.
January has the talent to secure herself a job, though. She was also chosen to the John Wooden Award midseason top 25 list in January despite her injury. She averaged 15 points, 6.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds in 20 games her senior season.
It's worth noting that January averaged 5.3 rebounds. She's 5-foot-7.
"She was probably the best post-up point guard in the country," Miller said. "You just don't see a lot of 5-7 point guards in the WNBA posting up, but she has that in her game."
January can post up because she has rare athletic gifts. She broke a 16-year old Minnesota state record in the 100-meter hurdles (14.33) her freshman year at Richfield High School (2010). She won the Gatorade Minnesota Girls' Track and Field Athlete of the Year award as a freshman, too. She bested her record in 2012 (14.29) and was all-state in basketball, track and volleyball.
"The biggest adjustment for her is that she's very, very quiet, and you can't be quiet in this league," Miller said. "You just can't have a quiet (point) guard, and that's one area that she has to change and change in a hurry."
• Second-year forward Morgan Tuck is back playing five-on-five at practice after having a minor procedure to remove debris from her knee on April 12. … Starting off-guard Alex Bentley is still dealing with a sprained right ankle and is in a walking boot. She'll be checked mid-week, Miller said. … Post Lynetta Kizer is expected to arrive late this week after finishing her overseas commitments. The Sun traded for Kizer during the offseason. Connecticut will have to waive a player once she arrives to adhere to the league's 15-woman preseason roster limit.
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