From ‘The General’ to general manager? Courtney Vandersloot already preparing for post-playing career

Vandersloot’s contract with the Liberty will keep her in New York through the 2024 season. While she made no indication of ever returning to the Sky as a player, she didn’t rule out the possibility of returning in a front-office position.

SHARE From ‘The General’ to general manager? Courtney Vandersloot already preparing for post-playing career
Connecticut Sun v New York Liberty

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

What would a reunion between Courtney Vandersloot and the Sky look like?

The contract she signed with the Liberty in February will keep her with them through next season. And while she made no indication of ever returning to the Sky as a player, she didn’t rule out the possibility of coming back in a front-office position.

Vandersloot already is taking steps to go from ‘‘The General’’ to a general manager.

‘‘That was a conversation [with Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb] early on when we were talking [in free agency], that it was something I would be interested in and I would love to learn from him,’’ Vandersloot told the Sun-Times. ‘‘It’s different at the Liberty, where they have a general manager separate from the coach, and I think that’s something I can have a different experience with.’’

Much like the Sky’s front office was, Kolb has been more than willing to embrace a mentor role when it comes to Vandersloot’s goals after transitioning from a life on the court to one off it.

When Vandersloot was with the Sky, she spent time learning from coach/GM James Wade. He and principal owner Michael Alter included her in conversations about the business side of things and roster construction. Both have acknowledged Vandersloot’s potential for success in the front office.

‘‘I think she’d be great at it,’’ Alter told the Sun-Times. ‘‘She obviously knows the game as well as anybody. She knows the players and the talent, so I think if that’s something she wants to do when she’s done playing, she’d be great at it.’’

Wade is the WNBA’s last remaining GM/coach. He acknowledged he loves the dual role and signed an extension with the Sky through the 2025 season, solidifying it for the next two years at least.

In his short time with Vandersloot, Kolb said he already has seen a work ethic he thinks will set her up for great success in her post-playing career. All parties hope that is a long way off.

‘‘Sloot is incredibly cerebral, not only on the court but also when it comes to talking about roster scenarios and planning,’’ Kolb told the Sun-Times. ‘‘She has a real feel for what equates to a winning player and how that player can fit within a team’s framework.’’

Vandersloot hasn’t solidified plans for her post-playing career — and there’s certainly plenty of time for her to change her mind — but a GM role is one she’s actively studying.

As far as whether that role might bring Vandersloot back to Chicago, her answer wasn’t no.

‘‘Chicago will always have a special place in my heart,’’ Vandersloot said. ‘‘I know that sounds cliche, but it is just true. My relationship with the Alters will remain the same, and . . . you never know what will happen. But I’ll always have a home here.’’

Wade: No such thing as ‘superteam’

There was no shortage of conversation about the two superteams formed this offseason with the help of the Sky’s championship free agents.

The Aces signed Candace Parker, and the Liberty secured Vandersloot. On Friday, the Sky, lacking personnel because of numerous injuries early in the season, took on the tall order of facing the Liberty.

Asked whether the Sky looked forward to an opportunity to prove the superteam theory wrong, Wade said they are worried about themselves.

‘‘We don’t give a [expletive],’’ Wade said. ‘‘Honestly, I don’t think there’s a superteam in this league. That means you can fly, and nobody can fly in this league.

‘‘Because if you don’t show up to play, you’ll get your ass whupped. That’s any team, one through 12.’’

The Latest
Canadian singer-songwriter, still clear-voiced and passionate, draws Union Park festival’s biggest crowd and a backup assist from MUNA.
NFL
Green Bay GM Brian Gutekunst remained optimistic the Packers and Love could reach a deal soon. He noted that Love is participating in all other team activities.
It was one of Williams’ better practices since the Bears drafted him. Fellow rookie Rome Odunze looked good, as well.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who had been on shortlists as a potential replacement for President Joe Biden, said Monday morning said he had spoken to Harris and told her the president’s decision “came as a genuine surprise.”
The person, involved in an early morning car accident Monday, was struck at 159th Street, state police said.