Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker agreed to join the Sky, the Sun-Times confirmed Wednesday. Parker, 34, who’s also a five-time All-Star and the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year with the Los Angeles Sparks, immediately makes the Sky one of the top contenders for the upcoming WNBA season.
The Sparks reportedly had tried to retain Parker, who spent her first 13 seasons with the team after being drafted No. 1 overall in 2008, but she has opted to return to her hometown to try to bring the Sky their first championship.
Parker, who is a Naperville Central grad, remains one of the dominant forces in women’s basketball. She played in all 22 of the Sparks’ games in 2020 and averaged 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists while finishing third in MVP voting. The only player to win MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season, Parker is also a nine-time All-WNBA Team member. She won the league’s MVP in 2008, when she was also Rookie of the Year, and 2013. She also was WNBA MVP in 2013 and Finals MVP in 2016 when she led the Sparks to the WNBA title. Parker has averaged 16.9 points and 8.6 rebounds in her career.
She won NCAA national championships in 2007 and 2008 while at Tennessee.
The addition of Parker should solidify the Sky as one of the teams to watch this season. The team also boasts an impressive core led by Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot, Azura Stevens, Cheyenne Parker and Diamond DeShields. Adding Parker to that lineup should give coach James Wade a ton of options.