Beyond the Match: Chicago Sky wins its first WNBA championship

Candace Parker grabs another championship and Kahleah Copper wins finals MVP

The Chicago Sky logo. (wiki.commons) The Phoenix Mercury logo. (wiki.commons)

The Chicago Sky logo. (wiki.commons) The Phoenix Mercury logo. (wiki.commons)

When Candace Parker decided to return and play for her hometown team, Chicago Sky, she had one goal in mind: bring the city its first Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) championship. She can now say she completed that goal, since the Chicago Sky recently brought the city a championship. 

Parker is one of the many legends in the WNBA. Her career began 13 years ago in L.A. when she was drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Sparks. In her first year, she was awarded rookie of the year, WNBA’s most valuable player, and made the all-rookie team and the all-WNBA first team. 

Parker has attained many awards and accomplishments throughout her 13-year career. From multiple all-star appearances, to MVPs, making the all-WNBA first and second teams, to winning defensive teams, and defensive player of the year. This is just a snippet of Parker’s many accomplishments. 

This championship will be Parker’s second, after winning her first one with the Los Angeles Sparks. This Chicago Sky championship is not just historical for her and the city, it’s also historical for the WNBA. 

The average viewership for this finals run between the Chicago Sky and Phoenix Mercury was around 548,000 for four games, with game three seeing the highest viewership average of 524,000.

It’s clear that many people tuned in to see Parker’s iconic plays, Kahleah Copper’s many creative ways of getting to the basket for a pretty layup, and just for the chance to watch talented basketball players battle it out.

I watched all of Chicago’s playoff runs, and was in awe when they defeated the Dallas Wings in the first round of the playoffs, then the Minnesota Lynx in the second round, and then the top-seeded Connecticut Suns team in the semi-finals. 

I wasn’t worried about them heading into the finals because that’s how strong the team was. I was confident in their defence and the fact that they had good scorers on the team. One player in particular that I watched very closely was Copper. She won the finals MVP, and she completely deserved it. 

Every time she had the ball I knew she was going to do something amazing. Whether it was stepping into a quality three or driving to the rim for a fancy layup. I call her layup package “expensive” because it is, and the way she is able to adjust her body in the air, away from the defence and lay the ball in the basket is amazing. 

There were times in the series when she would get the ball in transition with an opposing player tailing her to the basket, or she would drive from the half-court to the basket, and the defence would swarm in ready to block her, and I would anxiously watch, thinking she would get blocked. But instead she would get to the basket and sometimes get an “and one” — which is when a player gets fouled as they are going for a basket and they get an additional foul shot. 

One thing I can say about this team is that everyone brought in the effort. Players like Parker, Copper, Allie Quigley, and Courtney Vandersloot led the way, and everyone else followed suit to make sure the franchise could get its first championship. 

Moments like this continue to prove why investing in the WNBA is important and how more TV networks in the United States and Canada need to provide more access to the games so more people can have the opportunity to watch the astounding talent in the league.  

The WNBA is growing, and it’s time that more people notice.