WNBA Scoring/Rebounds/Assists Milestones to watch for in the 2021 season

Courtney Vandersloot of the Chicago Sky.

The 2021 WNBA season is upon us and it’s time to track the annual scoring, rebounding and assists milestones that WNBA players will hit this season. There are several players who are going to hit big milestones. Diana Taurasi will hit 9000 career points and will be the first ever WNBA player to do so. Sue Bird has a decent shot of being the first ever WNBA player to hit 3000 career assists at 40 years old. Courtney Vandersloot will join an elite group of players after she hits the 3000 career points mark, the 1000 rebounds mark and the 2000 assists mark this season. She will join Sue Bird as the only other WNBA players to achieve those milestones.

My inspiration comes from Kevin Brown, who started an amazing WNBA website devoted to tracking these statistics and more. Kurtis Zimmerman also has an amazing WNBA and women’s college basketball website that has so much knowledge and information. Both are wonderful websites and I suggest bookmarking both of them.

In this post, I included players who very close to hitting their milestones and who have hit a certain mark before so that it is an achievable goal for them this season. For example, Sylvia Fowles needs 513 points to reach 6000 points this season. That may seem like a lot for some players, but Fowles has scored 600+ points in four WNBA seasons in her career. She has also scored 520 points in one season. She is more than capable of hitting this mark which is why she is on the list.

NOTE: All of the players listed are all on guaranteed contracts which means that they will be on the roster come opening day on May 14th. The players who are on unprotected contracts and or training camp contracts are noted with an asterisk.

Scoring

9000

Diana Taurasi needs 69 points to reach 9000 career points. (Phoenix Mercury, 2004 WNBA Draft Class)

7000

Candice Dupree needs 272 points to reach 7000 career points. (Seattle Storm, 2006 WNBA Draft Class)

6000

  • Tina Charles needs 18 points to reach 6000 career points. (Washington Mystics, 2010 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Angel McCoughtry needs 215 points to reach 6000 career points. (Las Vegas Aces, 2009 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Candace Parker needs 316 points to reach 6000 career points. (Chicago Sky, 2008 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Sylvia Fowles needs 513 points to reach 6000 career points. (Minnesota Lynx, 2008 WNBA Draft Class)

4000

  • Brittney Griner needs 121 points to reach 4000 career points. (Phoenix Mercury, 2013 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Elena Delle Donne needs 147 points to reach 4000 career points. (Washington Mystics, 2013 WNBA Draft Class)

3000

  • Shavonte Zellous needs 18 points to reach 3000 career points. (Washington Mystics, 2009 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Courtney Vandersloot needs 41 points to reach 3000 career points. (Chicago Sky, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Kayla McBride needs 142 points to reach 3000 career points. (Minnesota Lynx, 2014 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Briann January needs 252 points to reach 3000 career points. (Connecticut Sun, 2009 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Jewell Loyd needs 273 points to reach 3000 career points. (Seattle Storm, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Odyssey Sims needs 394 points to reach 3000 career points. (Atlanta Dream, 2014 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Breanna Stewart needs 587 points to reach 3000 career points. (Seattle Storm, 2016 WNBA Draft Class)

2000

  • Liz Cambage needs 47 points to reach 2000 career points. (Las Vegas Aces, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Jessica Breland needs 234 points to reach 2000 career points. (Indiana Fever, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Courtney Williams needs 305 points to reach 2000 career points .(Atlanta Dream, 2016 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Jonquel Jones needs 348 points to reach 2000 career points. (Connecticut Sun, 2016 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Chiney Ogwumike needs 351 points to reach 2000 career points. (Los Angeles Sparks, 2014 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Elizabeth Williams needs 353 points to reach 2000 career points. (Atlanta Dream, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • A’ja Wilson needs 438 points to reach 2000 career points. (Las Vegas Aces, 2018 WNBA Draft Class)

1000

  • Ariel Atkins needs 7 points to reach 1000 career points. (Washington Mystics, 2018 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Amanda Zahui B needs 47 points to reach 1000 career points. (Los Angeles Sparks, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Natasha Cloud needs 56 points to reach 1000 career points. (Washington Mystics, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Isabelle Harrison needs 180 points to reach 1000 career points. (Dallas Wings, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Kelsey Plum needs 148 points to reach 1000 career points. (Las Vegas Aces, 2017 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Napheesa Collier needs 201 points to reach 1000 career points. (Minnesota Lynx, 2019 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Bria Holmes needs 203 points to reach 1000 career points. (Los Angeles Sparks, 2016 WNBA Draft Class)*
  • Moriah Jefferson needs 206 points to reach 1000 career points. (Dallas Wings, 2016 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Betnijah Laney needs 251 points to reach 1000 career points. (New York Liberty, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)

Rebounds

3000

Candace Parker needs 98 rebounds to reach 3000 career rebounds. (Chicago Sky, 2008 WNBA Draft Class)

1000

  • Dearica Hamby needs 69 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (Las Vegas Aces, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Kiah Stokes needs 85 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (New York Liberty, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Courtney Vandersloot needs 89 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (Chicago Sky, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Jasmine Thomas needs 91 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (Connecticut Sun, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Chiney Ogwumike needs 104 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (Los Angeles Sparks, 2014 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Liz Cambage needs 108 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (Las Vegas Aces, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)

Assists

3000

Sue Bird needs 112 assists to reach 3000 career assists. (Seattle Storm, 2002 WNBA Draft Class)

2000

  • Diana Taurasi needs 47 assists to reach 2000 career assists. (Phoenix Mercury, 2004 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Courtney Vandersloot needs 96 assists to reach 2000 career assists. (Chicago Sky, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)

1000

  • Skylar Diggins-Smith needs 81 assists to reach 1000 career assists. (Phoenix Mercury, 2013 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Angel McCoughtry needs 87 assists to reach 1000 career assists. (Las Vegas Aces, 2009 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Shavonte Zellous needs 88 assists to reach 1000 career assists. (Washington Mystics, 2009 WNBA Draft Class)*
  • Seimone Augustus needs 89 assists to reach 1000 career assists. (Los Angeles Sparks, 2006 WNBA Draft Class)*
  • Chelsea Gray needs 193 assists to reach 1000 career assists. (Las Vegas Aces, 2014 WNBA Draft Class)

2021 FINAL WNBA Mock Draft

Dana Evans of Louisville.

We have now arrived at the end of the women’s college basketball season and the time for the WNBA Draft. The Draft will tip one week from now on ESPN. Make sure you tune in and support the next crop of young women that will enter the WNBA.

Since last releasing my WNBA Mock Draft Version 3.0, not much has changed since then. Some draft prospects have moved up, and some have moved down. We also know now who exactly will be in the draft, so that makes writing a WNBA Mock Draft much easier. If you would like to check out more previous versions, you may do so below.

First Round (Draft Order courtesy of Across the Timeline – 2021 WNBA Draft Picks – Across the Timeline – Stats, facts, and memories from the storied history of women’s basketball)

I also got full rosters, plus salary cap information from Her Hoop Stats – 2021 WNBA Salary Cap Summary by Team and Key WNBA CBA Info | Her Hoop Stats

  1. Awak Kuier – Finland – Dallas Wings

One month later, and I am not changing my mind on the #1 overall pick. Awak Kuier is only 19 years old and will get better over time. She has the highest amount of potential greatness in this WNBA Draft. Either way, it does not really matter because the Dallas Wings have the top 2 picks. Between Charli Collier and Awak Kuier, I’m taking Awak Kuier first.

2. Charli Collier – Texas – Dallas Wings

Charli Collier still has some work to do to become the player she can be because she just has so much potential to be better. She did not play all that well towards the end of the NCAA tournament, which lowers her WNBA Draft stock just a bit. She absolutely made the right decision to declare early for the WNBA Draft, because next year, she would have been a late first round pick, rather than a top 2 pick this year. With all that being said, she’s still a great pick and the Dallas Wings should take her. If Awak Kuier does not show up, Charli Collier will have more opportunity to prove herself in the WNBA.

3. Dana Evans – Louisville – Atlanta Dream

From last month, Dana Evans moves up two spots. It’s not because I think she outplayed Aari McDonald, it’s because of the fit in the Atlanta Dream roster. They already have similar players that resemble Aari McDonald’s playing style. Therefore, Dana Evans is a better fit for the Dream. The Atlanta Dream have suspended Maite Cazorla for this season and Dana Evans could help fill in that point guard role for them. She can help them off the bench with her shooting and her ability to assist players. From time to time, she may be able to help the starters as well.

4. Aari McDonald – Arizona – Indiana Fever

Aari McDonald moves down a spot from last month and that is not because of her play, it’s because of the fit and the team needs. Looking at both rosters after one month has passed, and the Indiana Fever have a better opportunity for Aari McDonald to not only make the roster, but to contribute as well. Aari McDonald’s ability to be a two player will greatly help her in the WNBA, especially when it comes to the Indiana Fever because their general manager, Tamika Catchings greatly values defense. She still has some competition, especially from some good guards the Fever has, but she has better odds of making this roster than the Dream’s roster.

5. Chelsea Dungee – Arkansas – Dallas Wings

Chelsea Dungee moves down a spot from last month because the NCAA tournament did not help improve her stock. It went down just a bit to push her down a spot. Still, the Dallas Wings have to be thrilled that they get a player like Chelsea Dungee with their third first round pick and 3rd overall in the top 5. Chelsea Dungee is a great slasher, good defender and can help the Wings immediately. Great spot to land in for Dungee.

6. Arella Guirantes – Rutgers – New York Liberty

Arella Guirantes moves up two spots from last month, because her play towards the end of the season and her play in the NCAA tournament was good enough to move her up. Arella Guirantes has a really good shot of making the Liberty roster and can help the Liberty bench right away. She’s a good defender, a good playmaker and the Liberty would be wise to pick her up.

7. Rennia Davis – Tennessee – Dallas Wings

Rennia Davis moves down a spot from last month, because her play in the NCAA tournament did not improve her stock, but it also did not decrease her stock. She’s still a very solid player and the Dallas Wings have gotten yet another great player in the first round. She can help off the bench, but she may not get that many minutes right away as there are several great players ahead of her in the rotation. It’s going to be tough and it will most likely be a learning year for Rennia Davis to grow and improve in.

8. Michaela Onyenwere – UCLA – Chicago Sky

Michaela Onyenwere moves down a spot from last month, because like Davis, Onyenwere was solid in the NCAA tournament but the players ahead of her were much better. Michaela Onyenwere will have to prove herself in the Chicago Sky training camp, but she has a good shot because her athleticism can help the Sky bench. This Sky team is preparing for a possible Finals run after they added Candace Parker to their roster, so Onyenwere might not get many minutes, or none at all if she cracks the roster. She’s still a very good player and if there is one player who can improve herself and become even better, it’s Michaela Onyenwere.

9. Natasha Mack- Oklahoma State – Minnesota Lynx

Natasha Mack stays in the 9th spot because this is a great spot for Natasha Mack to land in. Head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve greatly values defense and rebounding, which are the two traits Natasha Mack excels in. It’s going to be tough for her to earn major minutes on this roster, but she can help off the bench and give them a lift. She can also help relieve both Napheesa Collier and Sylvia Fowles for when they need breaks or are in foul trouble.

10. Didi Richards – Baylor – Los Angeles Sparks

Didi Richards was not in my previous drafts because I felt like her lack of offense would greatly deter her from making an impact in the WNBA, but I was very wrong about that and some readers pointed that out to me. So, for that, I say that I was wrong and Didi Richards proved herself in the NCAA tournament run for Baylor. Her ability to defend will help the Sparks bench and she would be reunited with her former Baylor team mate Te’a Cooper.

11. Kiana Williams – Stanford – Seattle Storm

Kiana Williams had a great senior season for the 2021 NCAA tournament champions, the Stanford Cardinal. In the NCAA tournament, she helped the Stanford reach the Final Four thanks to her leadership. The Seattle Storm could use a player like her off the bench, where she could help relieve Jordin Canada for some minutes.

12. DiJonai Carrington – Baylor – Las Vegas Aces

DiJonai Carrington earned herself a spot in the first round after a great showing in the NCAA tournament for Baylor. It seemed as if Baylor relied on her a ton during the stretch of close games and she was able to answer the call a few times for them. Las Vegas Aces are looking to get back into the WNBA Finals and so they will be looking for immediate help from their bench. DiJonai Carrington can help the Aces and it will help fill their needs for a backup point guard/shooting guard.

Second round

  1. Destiny Slocum – Arkansas – Dallas Wings
  2. Trinity Baptiste – Arizona – Las Vegas Aces
  3. N’dea Jones – Texas A&M – Atlanta Dream
  4. Jasmine Walker – Alabama – Chicago Sky
  5. Unique Thompson -Auburn- New York Liberty
  6. Jill Townsend – Gonzaga – Seattle Storm
  7. Deja Church- DePaul – Indiana Fever
  8. Ivana Raca – Wake Forest – Connecticut Sun
  9. Aleah Goodman – Oregon State – Connecticut Sun
  10. Kysre Gondrezick – West Virginia – Los Angeles Sparks
  11. Micaela Kelly – Central Michigan – Seattle Storm
  12. Aaliyah Wilson – Texas A&M – Indiana Fever

Third round

  1. Petra Holesinka – North Carolina- New York Liberty
  2. Gabby Connally – Georgia – Indiana Fever
  3. Chelsey Perry – UT Martin – Atlanta Dream
  4. Shyla Heal – Australia – Los Angeles Sparks
  5. Iliana Rupert – France – New York Liberty
  6. Tiana Mangakahia – Syracuse – Connecticut Sun
  7. Jenn Wirth – Gonzaga – Indiana Fever
  8. Lindsey Pulliam – Northwestern – Phoenix Mercury
  9. Ciera Johnson – Texas A&M – Indiana Fever
  10. Selena Lott – Marquette – Los Angeles Sparks
  11. Chasity Patterson – Kentucky – Seattle Storm
  12. Janelle Bailey – North Carolina – Las Vegas Aces

2021 WNBA Mock Draft 3.0

The 2021 WNBA Draft is less than one month away now and we have reached the third edition of the WNBA Mock Draft. We are also starting to see some seniors or age eligible juniors opt in for this year’s draft. They have to opt in this year to the draft due to the NCAA granting one more year of eligibility due to COVID-19. Aari McDonald, Dana Evans, Tiana Mangakahia, Janelle Bailey have all opted in for the draft. Most notably, Charli Collier who was a junior but age eligible to enter the draft also opted in. This means that Charli Collier, who is ranked high on WNBA Draft Boards, can officially become a part of the WNBA in April.

Here is a link to a draft board that will be useful come WNBA Draft time in April. Note that draft board has seniors only on it. Here is a link to the updated WNBA draft order after some WNBA signings/sign and trades. You can view the first edition of the WNBA Mock Draft here, as well as the second edition.

FIRST ROUND

  1. Awak Kuier, Finland – Dallas Wings

One month later and Awak Kuier remains the top pick in this month’s WNBA Mock Draft. Her potential is endless and if she does not show up, the Dallas Wings should retain her draft rights when she does. She remains the top prospect in this draft class.

2. Charli Collier, Texas – Dallas Wings.

The Dallas Wings have the top 2 picks in this draft and the Wings should draft Charli Collier from Texas. Charli Collier has potential, but she does need to improve in some areas and if Awak Kuier does not show up to play this season, Charli Collier will be given the opportunity to show why she is worthy of a top 2 pick.

3. Aari McDonald, Arizona – Atlanta Dream

Aari McDonald moves up in this month’s WNBA Mock Draft because of her play and her ability to a top defender. The Dream greatly value defense and Aari McDonald will fit in easily. Her style of play also fits well with the Dream’s offense.

4. Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas – Indiana Fever

Chelsea Dungee increased her stock from last month and moves up a spot from last month. The Indiana Fever could use a player like her on the bench as Dungee can create offense and is a good defender.

5. Dana Evans, Louisville – Dallas Wings

Dana Evans moves down two spots and that is not because of her play, it is because the two teams ahead have made moves that would suggest that they are looking at other areas in the draft. Because the Dallas Wings have so much youth on their roster, this is the perfect spot for Dana Evans to be in. Her skill set would fit in perfectly and she could help the Wings bench immediately.

6. Rennia Davis, Tennessee – New York Liberty

7. Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA – Dallas Wings

8. Arella Guirantes, Rutgers – Chicago Sky

9. Natasha Mack, Oklahoma State – Minnesota Lynx

10. Kysre Gondrezick, West Virginia – Los Angeles Sparks

11. Kiana Williams, Stanford – Seattle Storm

12. N’dea Jones, Texas A&M – Las Vegas Aces

SECOND ROUND

  1. Jenna Staiti, Georgia – Dallas Wings
  2. Destiny Slocum, Arkansas – Las Vegas Aces
  3. Ciera Johnson, Texas A&M – Atlanta Dream
  4. Lindsay Pulliam, Northwestern – Chicago Sky
  5. Kayla Jones, NC State – New York Liberty
  6. Shyla Heal, Australia – Seattle Storm
  7. Aaliyah Wilson, Texas A&M – Indiana Fever
  8. Tekia Mack, Rutgers – Connecticut Sun
  9. Ali Patberg, Indiana – Connecticut Sun
  10. DiJonai Carrington, Baylor – Los Angeles Sparks
  11. Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse – Seattle Storm
  12. Moon Ursin, Baylor – Indiana Fever

THIRD ROUND

  1. Kayla Wells, Texas A&M – New York Liberty
  2. Khayla Pointer, LSU – Indiana Fever
  3. Deja Church, DePaul – Atlanta Dream
  4. Amber Ramirez, Arkansas – Los Angeles Sparks
  5. Janelle Bailey, North Carolina – New York Liberty
  6. Jenn Wirth, Gonzaga – Connecticut Sun
  7. Kristin Scott, Iowa State – Indiana Fever
  8. Jill Townsend, Gonzaga – Phoenix Mercury
  9. Lauren Heard, TCU – Indiana Fever
  10. Chloe Bibby, Maryland – Los Angeles Sparks
  11. Que Morrison, Georgia – Seattle Storm
  12. Jasmine Walker, Alabama – Las Vegas Aces

2021 WNBA Mock Draft Version 2.0

Awak Kuier of Finland

It’s been one month since I published my first version of the WNBA Mock Draft and it is now time for the second version. A lot has changed since then. The top 2 draft picks now belong to Dallas instead of New York who held the 1st pick. The Dallas Wings suddenly now have a lot of picks in this draft, but who knows if they will keep them or they will give them away. Roster spots are at a premium now in the WNBA, so a ton of these players selected might get training camp invites only and may have to resort to playing overseas first or waiting for 7 day contracts, etc.

Some players increased their draft stock since last month and that is reflected in this second version of the 2021 WNBA Mock Draft. I will have two more versions of this WNBA Mock Draft, one that will be released in March and the final WNBA Mock Draft which will be released one week before the WNBA Draft takes place.

2021 WNBA Mock Draft Version 2.0

FIRST ROUND

  1. Awak Kuier, Finland – Dallas Wings

The Dallas Wings have the top 2 picks and they should select the best player available which is now Awak Kuier of Finland. She recently played in Eurobasket qualifiers and played very well against some of the top European countries. She showed a variety of skills which should translate very well into the WNBA. Even if she does not show up this season, the Wings should select her and retain her draft rights until she does comes over.

2. Charli Collier, Texas – Dallas Wings

With the second pick, the Dallas Wings should select Charli Collier from Texas. She’s a local player and she’s played very well for Texas. She was my top pick last month, but she drops to the second pick this month because Kuier played extremely well for during Eurobasket qualifiers and is just a bit better than Collier at this point. She’s also younger than Collier, so she can grow and develop even more. This is not a knock on Charli Collier who is still a very good player and should give Dallas some help in terms of rebounding and a post presence.

3. Dana Evans, Louisville – Atlanta Dream

Dana Evans has increased her draft stock from last month due to her ability to effectively lead Louisville in late game situations. She has become the leader and has made so many clutch shots over the past month. Since Renee Montgomery announced her retirement, the Dream need a point guard and Dana Evans can fill that role off the bench.

4. Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas – Indiana Fever

The Indiana Fever have not been lucky in terms of the lottery and in WNBA Free Agency, so why not add the best player still on the board in Chelsea Dungee? Chelsea Dungee is another player who increased her draft stock from last month and is quickly rising. She can be a spark plug for the Fever and can quickly become a fan favorite in Indiana with her style of play.

5. Aari McDonald, Arizona – Dallas Wings

Aari McDonald drops this month in my WNBA Mock Draft, but that’s not because of her, it’s just because other players stepped up since last month. Aari McDonald is a top 5 player and Dallas should draft her because she is a very good guard and can help Dallas off the bench with her scoring.

6. Arella Guirantes, Rutgers – New York Liberty

7. Rennia Davis, Tennessee – Dallas Wings

8. Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA – Chicago Sky

9. Natasha Mack, Oklahoma State – Minnesota Lynx

10. Kysre Gondrezick, West Virginia – Los Angeles Sparks

11. Destiny Slocum, Arkansas – Seattle Storm

12. N’Dea Jones, Texas A&M – Las Vegas Aces

SECOND ROUND

  1. Ciera Johnson, Texas A&M – Dallas Wings
  2. Jenna Staiti, Georgia – Indiana Fever
  3. Kianna Williams, Stanford – Atlanta Dream
  4. Lindsay Pulliam, Northwestern – Chicago Sky
  5. Kayla Jones, NC State – New York Liberty
  6. Jasmine Walker, Alabama – Seattle Storm
  7. Aaliyah Wilson, Texas A&M – Indiana Fever
  8. Tekia Mack, Rutgers – Connecticut Sun
  9. Ali Patberg, Indiana – Connecticut Sun
  10. DiJonai Carrington, Baylor – Los Angeles Sparks
  11. Selena Lott, Marquette – Seattle Storm
  12. Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse – Las Vegas Aces

THIRD ROUND

  1. Moon Ursin, Baylor – New York Liberty
  2. Khayla Pointer, LSU – Indiana Fever
  3. Deja Church, DePaul – Atlanta Dream
  4. Amber Ramirez, Arkansas – Los Angeles Sparks
  5. Kayla Wells, Texas A&M – New York Liberty
  6. Jenn Wirth, Gonzaga – Connecticut Sun
  7. Kristin Scott, Iowa State – Indiana Fever
  8. Jill Townsend, Gonzaga – Phoenix Mercury
  9. Lauren Heard, TCU – Indiana Fever
  10. Chloe Bibby, Maryland – Los Angeles Sparks
  11. Que Morrison, Georgia – Seattle Storm
  12. Nancy Mulkey, Rice – Las Vegas Aces

Thoughts on the Candace Parker signing with the Chicago Sky

Candace Parker of the Chicago Sky.

WNBA Free Agency started a bit earlier this week when we first got word of rumors of Candace Parker leaving the LA Sparks. At first, I did not believe it because there are so many rumors over the years over free agents possibly leaving or not, among other things. But, when Candace Parker’s agency tweeted out that big things were coming, I started to take notice. Then the ESPN article came out. And suddenly, it was real. Candace Parker was headed to the Chicago Sky. The news, ironically came out when I was watching the WNBA General Managers chat with the AP writer, Doug Feinberg. Both the Chicago and LA General Managers were apart of the video call. It was awkward, to say the least.

Then, I started to actually process the news. LA was going to be different. There was going to be a new franchise player. The team would be different. It was overwhelming. I am not a Sparks fan. But, I know several of them. I know how hurt they are feeling. I know it goes much deeper and that there is no love lost for the head coach/GM Derek Fisher.

For me, the news hit me on a personal level. You see, I became a fan of the WNBA through Candace Parker. I saw Candace Parker’s national championship game, I saw her get drafted, I saw her have the best rookie debut in WNBA history, I saw her have an immediate impact with the Sparks. I saw Lisa Leslie making sure that Candace Parker was going to take over from her as the new franchise player. I remember vividly seeing Lisa Leslie on the court, making sure that her rookie was growing and learning everyday. Lisa Leslie was proud of Candace Parker, there’s no doubt in my mind about that.

I did not stay as a Sparks fan for very long, I transitioned into a fan of the San Antonio Stars (before they became the Las Vegas Aces). But, I still kept tabs on the Sparks, specifically Candace Parker. I remember her dunks, double doubles, MVP’s, championship run and her becoming an analyst on the NBA side. Her daughter Lailaa is apart of the Sparks too. She also has history with the Sparks organization from when she was a little baby.

Over the years, Candace Parker grew up. So did I. I became a fan of the WNBA when I was 18 years old and now I am a fully grown woman. But, I still identify with Candace Parker as the reason for my introduction to the WNBA and now seeing her change teams after so many years, strikes a chord with me. It’s going to be so different. Candace Parker is home. She is in Chicago. Not in LA. It’s still weird to me. She will officially sign with the Chicago Sky on Monday. I bet the Sky will hold a news conference to introduce her. A number of Chicago TV/print/radio outlets will be interviewing her on Monday. Still feels so weird.

I know this is selfishness talking, but I really did want to see Candace Parker retire as a LA Spark. I wanted her to end her career in LA. But, I am not Candace Parker. Candace Parker knows what she wanted and this time, she wanted the Chicago Sky. I’m going to have to learn to like it. I hope the Chicago Sky do win a title with Parker. Some of the great fans are Chicago Sky fans and they have been through A LOT and they deserve some good times too.

This WNBA season will either played in a bubble or in arenas, most likely without fans. I bet the Sky broadcasts will be one of the top viewed and a bunch of their games will be on ESPN. Watch. Tune in. Support the league. I, just like all of the other LA natives/fans/people will just have to get used to seeing Candace Parker in a Sky uniform. I may cry, honestly. But, I hope she does have a good debut and that the team excels with her on the court and off the court (business wise).

Good luck, Candace Parker. I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Aneela