Jessica January loves sports– everything about them from the competitiveness and physicality to the relationships formed and life lessons learned. Basketball is her first choice, the sport that’s undisputedly America’s favorite pastime, but while growing up in Richfield, Minnesota she gave every sport its fair shot. She was a gymnast for six years and played softball for five. She even tried soccer, but realized quickly that running around for hours to potentially finish with a score of 0-0 was not her cup of tea.
She competed for Richfield high in basketball, volleyball, and track. Jessica was a state champion in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles and holds the 100 meter hurdle state record. Additionally, she lead her basketball team to the program’s first–ever state appearance in 2012, finishing second and its second-everstate run the following year, finishing third.
After graduating Richfield High in 2013, she continued her basketball career on a full athletic D1 scholarship at DePaul University in Chicago.
During her time at DePaul, her team tallied four NCAA appearances, two Sweet Sixteen’s, four Big East Regular Season titles, and two Big East Tournament Championships. Jessica also had several individual accolades at DePaul:
“2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team… WBCA All-America Regional Finalist… All-BIG EAST Tournament team… Senior CLASS Award Finalist… John R. Wooden Award Top 25 List… Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List… Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List… Maggie Dixon Classic MVP… Gulf Coast Showcase All-Tournament Team… advanced to semifinals of State Farm Three-Point Championship… recorded second career triple-double in 2017… named team’s co-MVP in 2017… four-time Shirley Becker Academic Award winner… 2017 Cookie Gavin Courage Award… 2016 Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year… Sporting News 2016 Preseason third-team All-American… 2016 Nancy Lieberman Award Finalist… 2016 NCAA All-Dallas Regional Team… 2016 I-AAA Scholar Athlete of the Year… third-team CoSIDA Academic All-America… became only the second player in DePaul’s history to record a triple-double… second-team all-BIG EAST as a junior… named the team’s tri-MVP in 2016… became the first junior captain for DePaul since 2003-04… BIG EAST Player of the Week — Jan. 11 and Feb. 1… BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll – Nov. 16 and Dec. 7… all-BIG EAST Honorable Mention as a sophomore… BIG EAST All-Freshman team… BIG EAST Rookie of the Week on Dec. 23 and Feb. 24… four-time member of the BIG EAST All-Academic Team.”
After her four years, Jessica was drafted to the WNBA by the Connecticut Sun and now plays professionally overseas.