Born: August 1, 1980
Asjha Takera Jones was born August 1, 1980 in Piscataway. Tall and athletic as a girl, Asjha wore a size 13 women‘s shoe at the age of 12. By the time she entered Piscataway High, she was six feet tall—and grew another three inches by the time she graduated. In her four varsity seasons, Asjha set school records with 2,266 points and 1,256 rebounds. As a senior, she was an All-American and roundly hailed as the top female player in New Jersey.
Asjha was recruited by Geno Auriemma for the University of Connecticut juggernaut women’s hoops squad. The Huskies were in the headlines constantly, and their rival with the Lady Vols of Tennessee was at its height when Asjha arrived on UConn’s Storrs campus. Asjha joined Shea Ralph and Kelly Schumacher on the 2000 national championship team, which took the title with a 71–52 wipeout of Tennessee in the Final.
Diani Taurasi joined UConn the following season. In 2002, Asjha’s senior season, the Huskies won another national title, going a perfect 39–0. Asjha was a Third-Team All-American, First-Team All-Big East and the Most Outstanding Player in the Big East Tournament. She broke the school record for career games, and averaged 14.0 points and 6.6 rebounds as a senior.
When Asjha started playing high school ball, women’s pro hoops was just a dream. When she graduated from UConn it was a reality. The Washington Mystics took her with the fourth overall pick in the 2002 WNBA draft. Asjha was a bench player for Washington in 2002 and 2003, then played a similar role for the Connecticut Sun three more seasons. Asjha went to the WNBA Finals in 2004 and 2005.
In 2007, Asjha graduated from her Sixth Woman role and joined Katie Douglas, Nykesha Sales and Lindsay Whalen in the starting lineup for the Sun. She averaged over 15 points and 6 rebounds a game. That year Asjha scored 31 points in a game—her best game as a pro.
Asjha was Connecticut’s top scorer and rebounder in 2008, setting a slew of franchise records. She had another solid year in 2009, earning All-Star honors for the second time. An Achilles injury toward the end of the season slowed the normally indestructible power forward, and also affected her play in 2010. She returned to form in 2011 in her seventh season with the Sun.
In 2012, Asjha averaged 12.2 points per game for the Sun—her seventh year in a row in double figures. She played the next two seasons in Europe before returning to the WNBA in 2015 with the Minnesota Lynx. As a bench player for the Lynx she helped the club win the WBNA championship.