SHE is the heart and soul of the Perth Redbacks, she has started the West Coast Classic in scintillating form and now she has been acknowledged as SBL Shootaround’s Player of the Week thanks to Wandering Distillery.
Jakens might still only be 25 years of age, but given she has been a mainstay of the Redbacks’ SBL team now since she was a teenager, she already has 196 games under her belt and it was only COVID-19 that has denied her reaching the double century mark in 2020.
But she has opened the SBL replacement West Coast Classic in fine style and other people are noticing the way she is leading the Redbacks from the front and enjoying her front court combination with reigning Grand Final MVP, and Perth Lynx WNBL big Maddie Allen.
The Redbacks captain opened the West Coast Classic back in Round 1 by top-scoring with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists in the road loss to the Joondalup Wolves.
She backed it up less than 24 hours later in the 79-46 in Mandurah over the Magic with 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals on 6/10 shooting from the floor.
The Redbacks then marked their first home game of the West Coast Classic at Belmont Oasis last Friday night with an 87-71 win against the Cockburn Cougars.
Jakens took out the Len Vlahov Memorial MVP trophy on the back of 24 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two steals on 10/15 shooting from the field.
Then the next night despite a loss to the Perry Lakes Hawks, Jakens still had 16 points, eight boards, two assists and two steals while shooting 7/9.
Jakens ended up delivering 40 points, 20 rebounds, six assists and four steals across the two games in Round 2 of the West Coast Classic while shooting 17/24 from the field.
That was more than enough to see SBL Shootaround co-hosts Chris Pike and Randy Miegel announce her as the Wandering Distillery Player of the Week, which also earns her a voucher to The Shoe Bar.
Miegel, a two-time Women’s SBL Coach of the Year who took the Mandurah Magic to two Grand Finals, had no doubt about Jakens being the standout performer for the weekend.
“Jess Jakens has got my vote as well. I had seen her in person the week before as well and she is in really good form, which is good to see,” Miegel said.
“She is playing really well and she’s starting to get a really good connection there with Maddie Allen too which is making them hard to beat.”