All-Star gazing: Courtney Vandersloot makes convincing argument for leaguewide recognition

Coach James Wade said he would be surprised if Courtney Vandersloot didn’t get an All-Star nod this season.

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Courtney Vandersloot continues to be dominant this season.

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Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot bolstered her case for an All-Star bid in the team’s 91-83 victory over the Liberty on Wednesday in White Plains, New York.

Vandersloot once again showed she’s the ultimate triple threat. She can score, drive the lane and find open teammates.

“Skill-wise, she’s the best point guard in the league,” guard Allie Quigley told the Sun-Times after the game.

Vandersloot, the Sky’s all-time assist leader, said last week that her game isn’t “All-Star material” on its own. She said her teammates are key to her success.

“On this team, I’m an All-Star,” said Vandersloot, who hasn’t received All-Star recognition since her rookie season in 2011. “They make me an All-Star. They put me in positions, and coach [James] Wade trusts me with the ball. They make me look good.”

But Vandersloot doesn’t give herself enough credit.

She’s the Sky’s motor. She has taken over games and carried the team to victory on numerous occasions, including Wednesday, when she scored a season-high 25 points and had eight rebounds and six assists.

“Without her, to be honest, we don’t do what we do,” said Quigley, who scored 13 points. “She’s the thing that makes us go. She makes everybody better. She’s our leader, she’s our energy. She’s like the heartbeat of the team.”

When Wade pulls Vandersloot for a rest, her absence is felt immediately because she’s an integral part of what the Sky do.

“I focused on her and how big she was in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points and only having two turnovers,” Wade said. “When you have a point guard who controls the game that much, with only two turnovers, it speaks volumes for a successful team.”

Wade said he would be surprised if Vandersloot didn’t get an All-Star nod this season.

“I’ve spoken about it since I got hired, how valuable she was, not only to us but to the WNBA,” Wade said. “I hope she gets celebrated as such.”

Vandersloot said she isn’t focused on the All-Star Game and didn’t want to talk about it. She’ll let her play speak for itself.

The Sky extended their winning streak to four games, their longest since 2016.

“It’s huge,” Quigley said. “This season is so short that when you get off on a good start, the momentum and the confidence just gets you through and helps you keep getting better.”

The Sky have the second-best record in the WNBA. Their early-season success might be a surprise to some, but not to them.

“We all came in with a really good attitude, and we were ready for this year to be different than any other year,” Quigley said. “We’re not trying to think about expectations, we’re just trying to ride this wave.”

After sweeping their two-game trip, the Sky open a three-game homestand Friday against the Fever at Wintrust Arena, where they’re 3-0.

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