A Chicago-area basketball superstar is coming home, as Candace Parker will join the Chicago Sky for the 2021 WNBA season.
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne was the first to report the news, and sources confirmed Parker's impending signing to NBC 5's Mike Berman. According to Berman, the signing will be made official on Monday.
Parker, the top overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, spent the first 13 seasons of her career with the Los Angeles Sparks. In 337 career games, she averaged 16.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for the Sparks, and helped guide the team to the 2016 WNBA championship.
Before joining the Sparks, Parker embarked on a legendary high school career at Naperville Central High School, making the Illinois all-state team in each of her four high school seasons. She dunked in a game in Dec. 2001, making her the first female athlete in state history to dunk in a competitive game.
Parker then joined a powerhouse collegiate squad at Tennessee, winning national titles in each of her final two seasons with the Volunteers.
Parker was part of gold medal-winning squads at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
The Sky will aim to capture an elusive title in the coming year. In the 2020 season, contested at the IMG Academy in Florida, the Sky finished with a 12-10 record, good for the sixth-seed in the league’s playoffs. They dropped their playoff game to the Connecticut Sun, who went on to reach the WNBA semifinals before losing to the Las Vegas Aces.
Parker played against the Sun in the second round, scoring a game-high 22 points in the losing effort for the Sparks.