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Candace Parker brings it home


It's the Cinderella Story of a girl from Chicago who was drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks with the first pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft and spent 13 years at the franchise and collected some impressive hardware in the process, but still felt the need to do it for her home city.


In her rookie year, she was the Rookie of the Year and also picked up the league MVP, a feat she would repeat in 2013, she was named an All-Star six times and was All-Star MVP in 2013, she won her first championship in 2016 with the Sparks and was also awarded the Finals MVP accolade, in 2020 she was named Defensive Player of the Year and in the same year, it became evident that she wanted out of Los Angeles.


In 2021, she signed with her home team the Chicago Sky, and with experience on her side became the team’s floor general, setting in motion an emphatic homecoming that would see her winning her second championship and franchise’s first.


It was however not an easy journey for the Sky, who basically battled their way to the playoffs, finishing the regular season as the sixth seed and had to survive two single-elimination rounds and a best of five series against the top-seeded Connecticut Sun, before meeting the Phoenix Mercury in the finals.


On Sunday, 17th October 2021, the Sky defeated the Mercury 80 -74 in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals, winning the first WNBA title in franchise history. At the heart of that well-fought win was power forward Candace Parker.


Although the finals MVP spoils went to guard Kahleah Copper, who averaged 17.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in the series, Parker finished Game 4 with 15 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and four steals.


In the journey to the championship, Parker surpassed Maya Moore for second all-time in WNBA Playoffs history with 383 made field goals. She now also ranks fifth in rebounding in WNBA Finals history with 118.


Her teammate Courtney Vandersloot, furthered her records for most assists in a single postseason with 102 and WNBA Finals with 50. She also recorded the second-most assists in a WNBA Finals game with 15.


Vandersloot became the first player to record double-figure assists in four consecutive finals games in the same series, and five-straight games spanning back to the 2014 WNBA Finals. Additionally, she now ranks third all-time in career Finals assists with 70.


Phoenix center Brittney Griner recorded her 100th career postseason block, becoming just the second player in league history to eclipse the triple-digit mark after WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, who finished her career with 132.

Game 4 saw six lead changes and eight ties, while the Sky led by as many as 14 points.

Chicago finished on 44.3% (31-70) shooting from the field, 28.0% (7-25) from three, and 84.6% (11-13) at the free throw line. They totaled 36 rebounds, 26 assists, seven steals, three blocks, 44 points in the paint, and converted 14 points on the Mercury’s 15 turnovers.


Phoenix finished on 41.2% (28-68) shooting from the field, 30.0% (6-20) from distance and 92.3% (12-13) at the free throw line. They recorded 34 rebounds, 20 assists, four steals, five blocks, 32 points in the paint, and scored eight points off the Sky’s 10 turnovers.


At the end of the evening, after 14 years in the league, the home girl helped Chicago get what had been eluding them since 2005, and that was a WNBA championship.

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