In what could be described as a full-circle moment, Chicago Sky forward Azurá Stevens is now teammates with one of her childhood basketball heroes, Candace Parker.
In a tweet posted Monday night, the team showed the two women standing next to each other all smiles after Stevens, 25, showed her new teammate a middle school project she did about her more than a decade ago. We also got a close-up of Stevens’ creation: a Parker doll that she made for the project.
Stevens created the doll in middle school, when Parker was a star player for the University of Tennessee. It’s a funny reminder of not only Parker’s incredible longevity at basketball’s highest levels but the age gap between her and some of her teammates.
A decorated player, Parker began making history in basketball as a student at Naperville Central High School. She won the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year awards back-to-back in 2003 and 2004, making her the second junior and the only woman to receive the award twice.
In college, Parker led the Tennessee Lady Volunteers to two consecutive national championships (2007 and 2008) and became the first woman to dunk twice in a college game.
Parker continued to star professionally and internationally after being drafted by the Sparks, winning MVP awards and two Olympic gold medals. She’ll make her debut for the Sky this season after being acquired in an offseason trade.