Angels right fielder Jo Adell has always maintained his sister, Jessica, is the best athlete in the family, so it was fitting for the two of them to participate in an Instagram live on Cut4 on Wednesday to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Jo and Jessica, who
Angels right fielder
Jo and Jessica, who grew up in Louisville, Ky., and starred athletically at Ballard High School, appeared together from Arizona and answered questions from legend Lauren Chamberlain, college softball’s all-time leader in home runs. Jessica played college softball at the University of Tennessee and the University of Louisville, and she also participated in track and field as a javelin thrower, making her a rare two-sport athlete.
Jessica said it’s important for younger girls to have women in sports to look up to and that she’s happy that women are being recognized as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
“I think it’s important that the world kind of stops for a day just to kind of sit and think about that fact there was a point in time where women weren’t even supposed to be in sports, and now we have women in the front office, we have girls who are world-class athletes, and I think it’s something that’s super important to really hone in on,” Jessica said. “It teaches you teamwork from a very young age. That’s a life skill you can use going forward. You can transfer it over into the workforce. I know for me, I just joined a great team of women in my career right now, so I’m just excited to know that women in sports is a big deal.”
Jo said he always has looked up to his older sister, who set the tone for the kind of work ethic needed to be an elite athlete. The Adells came from athletic bloodlines, as their father, Scott Adell, starred at North Carolina State and was chosen by the Saints in the 12th round of the 1992 NFL Draft. Jo said their father never pushed either of them to sports; it was something they just loved doing. The siblings tried a little bit of everything, including gymnastics, soccer and swimming, but both ultimately loved baseball and softball.
“Jessica in our family really set the standard,” Jo said. “Our dad played professional football and played at NC State. And so we kind of had an idea of like how to go and get out there and work hard, but just seeing her, especially when she was in high school and the level of success she had, I just saw how hard she worked for it and it made an impact on me.
“She’s the older one, so when little bro was coming through high school, he had standards of being an All-American like her. I showed up, and she was running the school.”
The two also shared an emotional moment when Jessica described their relationship. Jo couldn’t help but tear up when hearing his sister talking about how close they are. The two have also had the experience of working together, with Jessica helping Jo with the Jo Adell Foundation, which gives back to the Louisville community.
“Just having Jo around keeps me motivated,” Jessica said. “I wanted to be around someone as competitive as me, and I think just having his spirit and having his drive around really keeps me going. It keeps me feeling like I need to be around him.”
Jo said he definitely leans on his older sister for help, especially now that they both moved from Louisville to Arizona. Jo is busy getting ready for Spring Training, when the former top prospect will compete for the starting right field job.
“When you talk about my journey from playing in high school to professionally and then two years later, being where I’m at right now, it’s good to have someone I can trust and has been with me that knows where I’m at and around, especially in the offseason,” Jo said. “She’s down here helping me make a schedule and remind me of how to go about my business every day. She’s the behind-the-scenes MVP.”