Wednesday, news broke that Candace Parker of the Chicago Sky will become the first female cover athlete in NBA 2K history.
The Naperville North grad spent the previous 13 seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks. This past offseason, she decided to return home when she signed to the Sky as a free-agent to the team. So far, so good (mostly). She missed a handful of games early but when she is playing the team is one of the best in all of WNBA. The Sky is 9-3 this season when Parker plays. This season, she is averaging 13.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and and 1.3 blocks in 27.2 minutes (a career-low).
Parker is the first Illinois native on a NBA cover since 2020 when both Perspective’s Anthony Davis and Richard’s Dwyane Wade were on the various covers. She also is the first Illinois to sport a hometown team since Simeon’s Derrick Rose shared the cover with Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin when he was on the Chicago Bulls.
Candace Parker is a revolutionary that is paving the way for the future of girls not only in basketball but sports. Not just that but showing everyone else that girls-women are right there to boys-men. She had this to say to reporters (from AP’s ESPN article):
“I think it’s a benchmark of women’s basketball for sure. I think most importantly it speaks to visibility and how important it is and how important the WNBA is,” Parker said. “Everyone is looking at it that it’s impacting little girls, but it’s also impacting little boys and young men and young women and men and women. I think our game is different than the NBA; now it’s embracing that fact. Now more than ever, fans want to follow the athlete. Through social media, through video games, it’s adding and benefiting the WNBA.”