As Candace Parker suits up for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London in a couple weeks, one her main sources of inspiration remains pride in representing Chicago.
“It feels great to represent the Chicago area at the Olympics," Parker told NBC Chicago while in Washington, D.C., during the Nike World Basketball Festival. "It's always very special because I think as a kid, you always grow up wanting to play and represent your country.”
After already winning a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Parker is back to lead the way once again and help the U.S. win another gold in London.
A native of Naperville, Parker starred at Naperville Central High School and helped lead the Redhawks to back-to-back state titles in 2003 and 2004. During that same time she won the USA Today Player of the Year award, becoming the first ever two-time winner.
She then went on to the University of Tennessee and led the Lady Vols to back-to-back National Championships in 2007 and 2008 and was the first player taken in the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks where she won Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season.
Despite her many accomplishments on the basketball court, she finds tremendous pride in not only representing her country during Olympic competition, but the Chicago area as well.
“Playing in the Olympics is a lot of fun. Anytime you get to wear 'USA' across your chest is an honor,” Parker told NBC Chicago while in Washington, D.C. during the Nike World Basketball Festival.