By Jack Gilroy || Developmental Editor
For the first time in the team’s history, the Chicago Sky are the WNBA Champions, after defeating the Phoenix Mercury in 4 games.
Facing elimination, Brittney Griner and the Mercury threatened to push the series another game, but seven straight points from Candace Parker killed their momentum and brought the crowd to their feet. With the Sky down nine points heading into the fourth, Allie Quigley drained three 3-point shots, bringing her total to 5, and leading the Sky with 26 points.
Candace Parker played her usual superstar role, scoring 16 points, while also raking up 13 rebounds and 4 steals. Growing up in Naperville, Illinois, Parker knew she wanted to bring Chicago its first major sports title since 2016, and its first basketball championship since Jordan in ‘98. After spending the last 13 seasons playing for the Los Angeles Sparks, Parker has turned herself into one of the WNBA’s unquestionable GOAT’s, winning Rookie of the Year, 2x MVP (her first came in her rookie season), and Defensive Player of the Year, while also being a 6x All-Star and 9x All-WNBA team member.
Kahleah Copper, a Philadelphia native, was the star of the series, winning Finals MVP averaging 17 points and 5.5 rebounds for the series while shooting 50% from the field. Drafted out of Rutgers in 2016, and only starting for the first time during the WNBA’s ‘bubble’ season, she was able to capture her first All-Star selection, while already leading her team in scoring for two seasons in a row.
With the WNBA season wrapping up, it seems like the WNBA could finally hit the mainstream sports frenzy. With some of the highest viewership ever, and the WNBA increasing its branding, the 2022-23 season could be the best yet.
Will the Sky be able to defend their title? Is Quigley going to be a superstar? I guess we’ll see. But for now, Chicago can celebrate its first WNBA title with a parade, while the Phoenix Mercury, much like their NBA counterparts, look to retool for another championship push.
Senior Jack Gilroy is the Developmental Editor for the Sports Section and his email is email@example.com.