Diamond DeShields had one prediction before the 2021 WNBA All-Stars were announced.
“Three is the magic number over here,” DeShields said. “That’s a pretty good prediction.”
She was on the money. Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and Kahleah Copper will represent the Sky on the Team WNBA roster.
The 12-player team, coached by WNBA legends Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson, will take on USA Basketball Women’s National Team, headlined by Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, A’ja Wilson and Sylvia Fowles, on July 14 in Las Vegas.
This is Parker’s sixth All-Star nod, Vandersloot’s third and Copper’s first.
All three players are thrilled to represent the WNBA in the game, but none more than Copper. She entered the Sky’s 91-81 victory Wednesday against the host Dallas Wings leading the team in scoring with 13.9 points per game. Copper scored 17 points to lead seven players in double figures in the Sky’s eighth win in their last nine games.
Aside from her offensive capabilities, Copper has proved to be one of the league’s most disruptive players on defense.
“I’m super grateful to be playing with these women,” Copper said. “Everybody brings it every single day. Our coaching staff is amazing. From top to bottom, I think we’re the team.”
Parker was tied for second on the team at 12.2 points per game with DeShields and Allie Quigley. Parker was critically important in the Sky’s franchise record-setting seven-game winning streak. The run started when Parker returned June 9 after suffering an ankle injury ahead of the second game of the season.
There’s arguably no player more influential on the Sky than their floor general, Vandersloot, who led the league in steals per game with two and assists per game with 8.5.
The Sky (10-8) have six players averaging double figures in scoring, including Vandersloot, who has 11.7 points per game.
Against the Wings, Parker had 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks and Vandersloot 10 points, 12 assists and four steals. Azura Stevens scored 13 points, while DeShields and Quigley each had 10.
Dallas (8-9) shot 32.4% overall and made just 1 of 11 three-point tries in the first half. The Sky made 21 of 42 from the field and had 18 assists to take a 51-29 lead at the end of the second quarter. They had just 13 in a 74-58 loss to Connecticut on Sunday that snapped a seven-game winning streak.