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Well-traveled Quigley hasn’t missed a step in leading way for Sky

Allie Quigley handles the ball during a game against the Los Angeles Sparks earlier this month. Quigley leads the Sky in scoring. (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

Sky guard Allie Quigley might be only six games into the WNBA season, but she is far from just getting started.

Quigley, a former standout at Joliet Catholic and DePaul, joined the Sky late last month after finishing her third season with Fenerbahce Istanbul, a Turkish professional franchise. Quigley previously has played overseas in Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, choosing to join the ranks of WNBA players who compete on a year-round basis.

But as much as the full-time playing schedule fuels Quigley’s passion for basketball, she admits it takes a toll. This season — Quigley’s fifth with the Sky and eighth in the league — came with the added tasks of playing for new coach Amber Stocks and with new teammates.

But as many times as she has done it, Quigley acknowledges the transition can be mentally and physically taxing. Quigley played her final playoff game with Fenerbahce on May 22. Two days later, she scored 13 points in a loss to the Washington Mystics.

“I’m kind of used to the non-stop, so you just have to come back and pick up where you left off,” Quigley said Wednesday.

Quigley leads the Sky (2-7) with 14.8 points per game. The Sky visit the Phoenix Mercury on Friday (9 p.m., Ch. 26.2) looking for their second consecutive victory after snapping a five-game skid Saturday against the San Antonio Stars.

Quigley has scored in double figures in each game this season. She says staying in game shape year-round allows her to make a seamless transition to the WNBA. While many players in the league compete overseas to maintain a steady income, Quigley has never based her decision to play in Europe strictly on financial reasons.

Quigley, who comes from a family full of teachers, is part of a league where pay-equity conversations frequently take place. She appreciates those who push to shrink the salary gap between her fellow players and their male counterparts, as well as the progress that has been made in that regard since she joined the league in 2008.

“Just to be able to play basketball for what we get [financially] is pretty amazing, even though we find ourselves complaining of wanting more,” she said. “But I think it is possible to live off of it.”

Quigley won’t allow those considerations to determine how much she plays. Despite the time demands and limited breaks between seasons, Quigley said the rewards of adventuring out of her comfort zone and experiencing different cultures have made her full-time professional life well worth it.

“Sometimes the money [from playing overseas] is too good to  pass up. But at the same time, I just love playing,” Quigley said. “I think when you do it year-round, one season just rolls into the next and all of a sudden you’re like, ‘I’m having a great time’ and the season just kind of flies by.”

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