Dana Evans is taking care of business, on and off the court

Evans is playing overseas in Hungary. She suffered a partial tear in her abdomen and is expected back on the court in the next couple of weeks.

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PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 10: Dana Evans #11 of the Chicago Sky drives to the basket against Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury at Footprint Center on October 10, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Mattina/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775722480

Mike Mattina, Getty

Credit cards can be tricky, and opening one comes with all kinds of responsibilities.

A quick Google search brings up page after page of advice, such as: “Ten things to know before getting a credit card” and “Tips for building your credit.”

For the average young person aspiring to build the perfect credit score, such advice from financial websites on the internet might be a good place to start. But Sky point guard Dana Evans leaned on veteran Candace Parker as a better source in her rookie season.

“We were in Minnesota for the single-elimination [playoff] game,” Evans said. “We were talking after practice, and Candace started talking to me about credit and the importance of opening up a credit card.”

Parker dropped a ton of knowledge on Evans about the benefits of building credit at a young age. It was only one of many lessons about life, business and financial success Evans has learned from “Momma Candace.”

Evans gave Parker that nickname during the 2021 season because of all the life skills the two-time WNBA champion, businesswoman and NBA analyst passed on to her teammates.

Evans, who is from Gary, Indiana, graduated from Louisville with a degree in sports administration and a minor in communications. She was always thinking about ways she could build success outside of basketball and had many conversations with her father about combining her love of fashion and beauty products with her talent on the court.

Evans since has put the dream into action, signing partnership deals with OpulenceMD Beauty and Palm, a tech company that sells headphones and cellphones. She also is pursuing opportunities with companies in Chicago.

WNBA players have a predisposition to be multifaceted. They have to be, living on the salaries they make. Most players compete overseas to supplement their WNBA salary, and more are developing their personal brands into a business.

“I remember back in the day you’d see sports commercials, and they’d have actors portraying athletes,” Sky coach and general manager James Wade said. “I would much rather see athletes being athletes.”

CarMax released a commercial last spring that featured WNBA star Sue Bird and NBA star Stephen Curry. It did so well that the company rebooted it with Parker in the fall.

It’s a challenge to get through a month without Parker announcing a new brand partnership, TED talk, or in the most recent case, a documentary she will help produce. While Parker’s success is coupled with years of experience, players such as Evans are watching and applying the lessons.

Since the NCAA’s name, image and likeness rule was implemented in June, college athletes’ personal brands have led to lucrative partnership deals. According to Opendorse, the top sports for NIL compensation through December were football (45.7%), women’s basketball (26.2%) and men’s basketball (18%.)

Wade said he wants to see players in the WNBA garner the same brand attention and success that the NIL has brought to college athletes.

Evans is currently playing overseas in Hungary. She suffered a partial tear in her abdomen and is expected to be back on the court in the next couple of weeks.

During her time overseas, she has been committed to improving her defense and ability to finish at the rim. With Courtney Vandersloot’s future with the Sky uncertain, Evans is hopeful she has a few more years to learn from the WNBA’s top floor general.

Evans’ advice for young players on and off the court is simple.

“Watch the vets,” she said.

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