Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot set to provide stability for Sky
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Allie Quigley has seen a lot of changes since joining the Sky in 2013.
Quigley was one of the most shrewd acquisitions made by coach Pokey Chatman, who was fired in 2016 and replaced by Amber Stocks. In her time with the Sky, Quigley experienced the peak, demise and aftermath of the Elena Delle Donne-Sylvia Fowles-Epiphanny Prince era. Teammates, assistant coaches and systems have come and gone, but Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot, who was drafted in 2011, have remained constants.
Staying in Chicago for this long with Vandersloot — whose season is still going in Turkey — is one thing Quigley relishes.
“That’s something that I’ve thought about. It’s cool that at least a couple of us have stuck around,” Quigley said of herself and Vandersloot. “It kind of happens with a lot of teams that one or two kind of stick around for the entire span of about 10 years.”
When the Sky open the season Saturday at Indiana against Chatman’s Fever, they’ll put more changes on display. Veterans Cappie Pondexter and Jessica Breland are gone as Stocks continues to remake the roster. And the team is moving into Wintrust Arena, where it will play its home opener Sunday night against the New York Liberty.
For Quigley, a 2017 All-Star and two-time Sixth Woman of the Year, the changes are more of the same.
“Every once in a while, I definitely think back to all the different rosters, obviously different coaches, but I know at the same time it’s kind of what we’re used to,” Quigley said. “It’s professional sports, professional basketball. Kind of the same thing happens overseas, too. It’s just very rare when you can keep a team exactly the same year after year.”
The Sky have proved that’s true, except for Vandersloot and Quigley. Their seniority, Quigley said, brings responsibility.
“I think it’s really important to show the incoming players that we’ve stuck around for a reason,” she said. “We believe in this franchise. We believe in where Chicago’s going, and I think a lot of players, when they come in, they do look to us for that example. Our trust in Amber and our trust in the franchise, the coach, where we’re going with this. If we set a good example, we lead in the right way, I think the new players and younger players will follow.”
Coming this summer
Toyota Park will host a doubleheader Aug. 2 as part of the women’s soccer Tournament of Nations. At 7:30 p.m., the United States will face Brazil. Australia and Japan are scheduled to kick off at 4:45 p.m.