Sky looking to win and build for future at the same time

SHARE Sky looking to win and build for future at the same time

Chicago Sky coach Amber Stocks at practice in Deerfield, Wednesday, August 2, 2017. | Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun Times

In late July, the Sky sent veteran forward Tamera Young, emerging center Imani Boyette and a second-round pick to the Atlanta Dream for a 2018 first-round pick and little-used forward Jordan Hooper.

Though they sent away a promising player (Boyette) and their longest-tenured player (Young), the trade for a second first-round pick was understandable, considering the expected strength of the 2018 draft.

Nevertheless, the Sky are 7-4 in their last 11 games and entered play Wednesday in a three-team tie for the last WNBA playoff spot.

Clearly, the Sky (10-16) are trying to pull off a difficult feat: win now while building for the future. Sky coach and general manager Amber Stocks doesn’t seem too bothered by the degree of difficulty.

“There definitely are challenges with that,” Stocks told the Sun-Times, “however, I wouldn’t say it’s hard to do both.”

That sentiment goes against conventional wisdom. Usually, teams decide to either go for wins or look to the future because it’s not easy to do both simultaneously.

But Stocks isn’t seeing things that way, and she likes how her team is approaching the task at hand.

“The players that we have on this team are very focused, and we’re all on the same page as far as our commitment and our passion,” Stocks said. “That helps everybody see the same picture and have similar goals in mind.”

Everybody might be seeing the same picture, but some Sky players might view it from different angles. And Stocks is fine with that.

If a player is interested in the standings, that’s fine. If a player is looking at stats, that’s OK, too. Video? Go ahead.

“Everybody’s different,” Stocks said. “I would never try to persuade or dissuade anybody from partaking in what they enjoy.”

For Stocks, her focus is on the tiny details that could lead to greater success.

“It comes down to the details, no matter how you slice it,’’ Stocks said. ‘‘My focus is on the details and leading, coaching, guiding, managing us to win possessions. When you win possessions, then the results take care of themselves and you win games, then advance to the playoffs.”

The Sky host the San Antonio Stars (6-21) at 7 p.m. Thursday.


The fifth stop of the 2017 World Match Racing Tour boat races will be held Sept. 26-Oct. 1 in front of Navy Pier. The event will be co-hosted by the Chicago Match Race Center and the Chicago Yacht Club.

Follow me on Twitter @BrianSandalow.


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