It was reported on Tuesday that Parker will play for the Chicago Sky, in Parker’s hometown where she starred as a high school phenom for Naperville Central.
Candace Parker to the Chicago Sky has the potential to be a franchise-altering move — instantly catapulting them into the WNBA championship mix.@JamalCollier's story, with photos from her local high school days.https://t.co/tbTYxE1VDl
— Chicago Tribune Sports (@ChicagoSports) January 28, 2021
Before Candace Parker broke ground and became a legend and modern-day pioneer in sports broadcasting, she was a generational ballplayer who revolutionized the game with her versatility, size and sizzle.
Parker was a 2004 McDonald’s All-American her senior year in high school.
In the McDonald’s All-American game slam dunk contest she became the first female to enter the contest and the first to win it. Her winning inspired (Francesca Belibi) to enter the contest 15 years later and she too won the dunk contest.
Parker chose to play her collegiate career at Tennessee for the legendary Pat “GOAT” Summitt. Upon her arrival, she was listed as a guard, center and forward, and that in itself just shows you the type of versatility she’s always possessed at 6’5.
Parker led the Vols to back-to-back NCAA titles in (2007 and 2008) and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four on both occasions. She was also named a two-time consensus national player of the year.
Drafted #1 overall in the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks. Parker became the first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game and the first to dunk twice in a college game.
She brought that same sizzle to the WNBA.
She had a great run in Tinseltown which saw her accomplish the following, a WNBA Championship in 2016, along with two WNBA MVP Awards (2008 and 2013. Parker was also named WNBA Finals MVP (2016), WNBA All-Star Game MVP (2013), two Olympic Gold Medals (2008 and 2012), and she was named WNBA Rookie Of The Year in (2008).
Selected to six all-WNBA teams and five all-star teams, Parker is still the first and only player to be named Rookie Of The Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season.
On top of that, she was under the tutelage of the great Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a tragic plane crash along with his daughter Gianna and seven others a year ago on January 26.
With last season being played in the “IMG Academy Bubble” or “Wubble” rumors began to swirl that it could be the last season she plays in LA. Parker played in all 22 games, shooting (51%) from the floor which was her best since 2011.
She averaged 14.7 points per game and led the league in rebounding at 9.7 per game, while also recording a league-leading 10 double-double performances. She led the Sparks to a third-seed, although they lost a single-elimination game to the seventh Connecticut Sun in the second round.
The Swiss-army knife was named WNBA Defensive Player Of The Year for the first time in her illustrious Hall Of Fame career. I even told someone that her time in LA was probably up as that award was the only one that had avoided her in Hollywood.
She was strangely and controversially left off the first and second WNBA NBA-All Defensive Teams. This discrepancy arose because media members vote on the Defensive Player Of The Year, while coaches choose the All-Defensive Teams.
Finally, Parker always mentioned possibly playing the twilight of her career back in the “Windy City”, even though the Sparks did all they could to sign her back following the 2020 season, which saw her finish third in MVP voting.
For her career, the Uber talented Parker has averaged 16.9 PPG and 8.6 RPG.
— ESPN (@espn) January 27, 2021
The Chicago Sky has a team that should contend for a title this season with the addition of “CP.” A report was leaked she wasn’t too keen on another semifinals ouster and doesn’t believe Derek Fisher is the answer to get the Sparks to the finish line.