Women's Basketball

WBB: Aubrey Joens looks to follow in Ashley’s footsteps this fall

Aubrey and Ashley Joens

Aubrey Joens’ sister is pretty good at basketball.

Last season, Ashley led the Big 12 in scoring for Iowa State while averaging 20.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

She’s blossomed early on in her career as a Cyclone, and Aubrey hopes to do the same thing when she joins Iowa State’s program as part of a historic recruiting class this fall.

“(Ashley) did really well and improved on so many things,” Aubrey said. “I’m focused on getting to campus and getting better once I’m there.”

This is the first time in Coach Bill Fennelly’s career that he has had a pair of sisters on his team.

Although their games are completely different from one another, there was a lot that translated from Ashley to Aubrey.

“The work ethic definitely translates,” Fennelly said. “I told someone the other day, ‘The Joens family DNA is hard work.’ They’re two years apart but, they’re very close and I think they’re excited to play with each other.”

While Ashley is a player that will attack the boards and take the ball in the paint, Fennelly noticed Aubrey as a long ball shooter.

Aubrey led her Iowa City High team with 59 3-pointers made during her senior year while leading the Little Hawks to a 23-2 record.

“I think the biggest strength for her is that she can shoot the three,” Fennelly said. “She shoots it as well as any high school player I’ve ever seen.”

Beyond that, Joens shoots it deeper than most high school players and it’s something Fennelly loves about her game.

The coach that is entering his 26th season in Ames actually teaches it during practice. They’re prepared for the 3-point line to move back further from the basket.

“She shoots it with depth,” Fennelly said. “It won’t be this year, I don’t think, but I think you have to prepare for the idea that the three-point line is going to move back. That won’t bother her at all.”

Overall, when they were recruiting this year’s class, Joens fit the description of needs about as well as any recruit the staff could have asked for.

“When you combine the skillset that we love in shooting the three with an ability and the desire to play hard, that’s a good fit,” Fennelly said. “Any time we find a shooter like that, we’re going to do our best to bring her into the family.”

The work ethic in the Joens family helped develop that shot over the years and the will of competitiveness has been helping both of the sisters since the start of the quarantine.

“It’s been alright,” Aubrey said. “There are moments where the competitiveness comes out like running on the track. We have a hoop to shoot on. It’s at our friends, so it comes out during shooting drills and stuff.”

The hoop the sisters are shooting on is in a barn in Iowa City and blocks the wind from affecting the shot as if they were shooting in a gym.

It’s a big advantage during these times, considering some NBA players are having trouble finding spots to shoot in some states.

Regardless of what is going on now, though, in Iowa City, Aubrey is just ready to get over to Ames.

“It’s super fun,” Joens said. “It’s so loud and everyone’s so focused on the game. There’s no other place like Hilton.”

“It will be amazing to play in front of that many people.”