Sky open training camp with an 18-player roster, Kahleah Copper at the helm

With Astou Ndour-Fall opting out of the 2023 WNBA season and Li Yueru’s status up in the air, the Sky have added cap space and vacancies in the front court to fill.

SHARE Sky open training camp with an 18-player roster, Kahleah Copper at the helm
Kahleah Copper is the only member of the Sky’s starting five under contract for the 2023 season.

Kahleah Copper is the only member of the Sky’s starting five under contract for the 2023 season.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

WNBA training camps open Sunday, and the Sky are in rebuild mode, regardless of whether they want to describe the upcoming season that way. After the departures of Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and Azura Stevens, the team’s championship window appears to have closed just as quickly as it opened.

That is, unless guard Kahleah Copper has anything to say about it.

She enters the season on the second year of a two-year contract and as the default face of the franchise. The Sky’s success largely depends on her and whether she stays beyond 2023.

Beyond Copper, the list of developing stars includes guards Marina Mabrey and Dana Evans, alongside established veterans such as center/forward Elizabeth Williams, guard Courtney Williams and forward Isabelle Harrison.

The Sky have 18 players entering camp. Beyond the six previously mentioned, three others should have roster spots: guard Rebekah Gardner and forwards Alanna Smith and Ruthy Hebard who announced the birth of her first sun with media and commerce company Togethxr. The full story of her return to the court will be detailed in a film by the company airing Sunday, April 30.

With center/forward Astou Ndour-Fall opting out of the season and Hebard as well as center Li Yueru’s status up in the air, the Sky have vacancies to fill in the front court. The last two seasons, coach and general manager James Wade carried an 11-player roster to fit under a strict salary cap. This year, he has the space to sign three more players, depending on their experience.

The Sky have six players signed to training-camp contracts, along with their two draft picks this year — guard Kayana Traylor and forward Kseniya Malashka. Given the competitive nature of camps and the number of talented players who will be waived, the Sky could end up signing a player who has cleared waivers.

Sky’s training-camp roster
*denotes player is signed to a training-camp contract

Kahleah Copper, guard

Dana Evans, guard

Rebekah Gardner, guard

Marina Mabrey, guard

Courtney Williams, guard

Kayana Traylor, guard

Feyonda Fitzgerald, guard*

Angel Baker, guard*

Ruthy Hebard, forward

Isabelle Harrison, forward

Alanna Smith, forward

Elizabeth Williams, center/forward

Li Yueru, center

Kseniya Malashka, forward

Robyn Parks, forward*

Anneli Mayley, forward*

Morgan Bertsch, forward*

Kristine Anigwe, forward/center*

The Latest
The right-hander allowed four home runs against the Yankees on Saturday.
The Champions thought they had won the city title after a ground out to first, but had to do it all over again after an umpire revealed his call.
“They’ve been helping us out a lot, so there’s going to be a time where we can help them sometime, and that’s what we’re going to do,” outfielder Seiya Suzuki said.