Chicago Sky

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Chicago Sky
2015 Chicago Sky season
Chicago Sky logo
Conference Eastern
Founded 2005
History Chicago Sky
(2006–present)
Arena UIC Pavilion (2006 - 2009)
Allstate Arena (2010 - present)
City Chicago, Illinois (2006 - 2009)
Rosemont, Illinois (2010 - present)
Team colors Sky Blue, Yellow, White
              
General manager Pokey Chatman
Head coach Pokey Chatman
Assistant coaches Tree Rollins
Christie Sides
Championships None
Conference titles 1 (2014)
Mascot Sky Guy
Official website

The Chicago Sky is a professional basketball team based in Rosemont, Illinois, playing in the Eastern Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded before the 2006 WNBA season began. It is owned by Michael J. Alter (principal owner) and Margaret Stender (minority owner).

Like some other WNBA teams, the Sky is not affiliated with an NBA counterpart, although the Chicago Bulls play in the same market.

The Sky clinched their first playoff berth in team history on August 23, 2013 and their first WNBA Finals appearance on September 3, 2014.

Franchise history[edit]

Franchise origin[edit]

In February 2005, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that Chicago had been awarded a new WNBA franchise. The franchise was temporarily named WNBA Chicago. On May 27, 2005, former NBA player and coach Dave Cowens was announced as the team's first head coach and general manager. The team home would be the UIC Pavilion.

The team name and logo for the Chicago Sky were formally debuted on September 20, 2005, at the Adler Planetarium. Team President and CEO Margaret Stender claimed the team colors of yellow and blue represent "A beautiful day in Chicago between the blue sky and bright sunlight to highlight the spectacular skyline."

The team's introduction in Chicago was highlighted by the appearance of several WNBA star players, including 2004 WNBA Rookie of the Year Diana Taurasi, 2005 WNBA Rookie of the Year Temeka Johnson, 2002 WNBA Rookie of the Year Sue Bird and 2003 WNBA Champion Ruth Riley.

In November 2005, the team held an expansion draft to help build its roster of players. Among the notable selections were Brooke Wyckoff from the Connecticut Sun, Bernadette Ngoyisa from the San Antonio Silver Stars, Elaine Powell from the Detroit Shock and Stacey Dales (who had retired prior to the 2005 season) from the Washington Mystics.

On February 28, 2006, the team announced that two of the minority shareholders of the team are Michelle Williams, from the vocal group Destiny's Child, and Mathew Knowles, father of Destiny's Child lead singer Beyoncé Knowles.

Reaching for the Sky (2006–2008)[edit]

The Sky achieved a 5-29 record in its first season, and finished last in the Eastern Conference.

After the season, Dave Cowens resigned from the Sky to join the coaching staff of the Detroit Pistons. University of Missouri-Kansas City women's head basketball coach Bo Overton was named the Sky's new head coach and general manager on December 12, 2006.

Sylvia Fowles

Their WNBA-worst 2006 record of 5–29 gave them the best chance of drawing the top pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft. However, the Sky would not draw either of the top two picks, and ended up with the third overall pick, which they used to select Armintie Price. They would get the first pick in the dispersal draft of the Charlotte Sting which they used to select Monique Currie.

In 2007, the Sky would field a vastly improved team. The core group of players from 2006 along with some new additions helped make the team competitive. The Sky would be Eastern Conference playoff contestants, even holding the 4th place position for part of the season. But the Sky finished with a 14–20 record, two games behind the fourth and final playoff spot. Guard Armintie Price was named the 2007 WNBA Rookie of the Year after the season.

On March 12, 2008, the Sky announced that head coach Bo Overton resigned his position of coach/general manager. Assistant coach Steven Key was named head coach/general manager of the Sky.

The Sky selected Sylvia Fowles with the second overall pick of the 2008 WNBA Draft.

In the 2008 season, the Sky would once again fail to make the playoffs, posting a 12–22 record, finishing 5th in the East. The Sky's number one pick in the draft Fowles was injured for most of the season.

In the off-season, Fowles was selected to play on the United States Olympic team. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics she averaged 13.4 ppg and 8.4 rbg, leading her team to a perfect record and a gold medal.

Sky's the Limit (2009–present)[edit]

In the 2009 WNBA Draft, the Sky selected point guard Kristi Toliver with the third pick. A standout player from the University of Maryland, Toliver was known for her impressive shooting ability and propensity to produce in critical situations. Never was this more evident than in the 2006 National Championship game when Toliver, then a freshman, shot a game-tying three-point basket to send the game into overtime (additional minutes) against Duke, eventually leading to a win and Maryland's first National Championship. In her debut season she averaged 7.6 points per game, 1.4 rebounds per game and 1.9 assists per game.

Current home uniform

In the 2009 season, the team had high hopes of reaching the playoffs for the first time. The Sky would be conference playoff contenders all year long, even achieving the second place position in the conference for a small portion of their season. Unfortunately, with a record of 16-18, the Sky were again eliminated from playoff contention after being involved in a three-team tiebreaker, with the Washington Mystics winning the breaker.

The Sky finished fifth in the Eastern Conference. They only needed to win the last game of the season at home against Detroit, but after being ahead by 14 points at halftime, the Sky fell behind by 18 points to a team that did not need to win this game since their playoff spot was sealed prior to the game.

On August 17, 2009, the Sky announced that the team's new home would be Allstate Arena. This change would go into effect beginning with the 2010 WNBA season.

On September 23, 2009, USA Basketball announced Candice Dupree was one of 14 athletes invited to attend the fall training camp of the U.S. women's national team at American University in Washington. She joined her Sky teammate center Sylvia Fowles, who eventually made the Olympic roster for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Entering the 2010 season, the Sky made some offseason changes. The Sky traded Dupree to the Phoenix Mercury, and acquired Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld from the New York Liberty. Then they traded Kristi Toliver to the Los Angeles Sparks. When the regular season began, they lost their first four games. At one point during the season, they were at .500 (won half and lost half of their games), just a few games back for the final playoff spot. However, the Sky ended up losing eight of their final ten games, eliminating them from playoff contention for the fifth consecutive season. They finished 14–20, sixth in the Eastern Conference. Key resigned as GM and coach.

On October 28, 2010, the Sky hired former LSU head coach Pokey Chatman as general manager/head coach.[1]

In 2011, the Sky were led again by Fowles, who averaged a "double-double" 20 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. The Sky finished the season at 14-20 but were encouraged by going 10-7 at home.[2]

The Sky selected Shey Peddy (Temple) with the 23rd overall pick and Sydney Carter (Texas A&M) with the 27th pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft. Peddy and Carter were both eventually waived on May 14, 2012.[3] The Sky began the season 7-1, but finished 14–20 for the second consecutive season.[4] The Sky remained the only WNBA franchise to never make the playoffs.

The 2013 WNBA season was a turning point for the Sky. Selecting Elena Delle Donne from Delaware with the second overall pick, as well as Brooklyn Pope, in the 2013 WNBA Draft, the team had high hopes. Delle Donne would become the first rookie to lead the All-Star voting, averaging 18.1 points per game (fourth in the league) and leading the Sky to a 24-10 regular season record, finishing first in the Eastern Conference. Reaching the playoffs for the first time, the Sky fell in two games to the Indiana Fever.

Delle Donne, Fowles, and teammate Swin Cash received multiple honors (Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Peak Performer in Rebounds, and the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, respectively). Chatman finished a close second for Coach of the Year. Delle Donne narrowly missed the MVP award, while Fowles and Delle Donne were named to the All-WNBA first and second teams, respectively.

Although the team's 2014 season record would be an unimpressive 15-19, the Sky qualified for the WNBA playoffs and eliminated Atlanta and Indiana in the first two rounds, making it to the WNBA Finals for the first time. Despite being swept in the championship series by Phoenix, it was an all-time high for the Sky.

In February 2015, the Sky acquired Chicago native Cappie Pondexter from the New York Liberty in a straight-up trade for Epiphanny Prince.

Uniforms[edit]

  • 2006–2010: At home, white with light blue on the sides. Collar is light blue. On the road, light blue with gold on the sides. Collar is gold.
  • 2011–2012: At home, white with light blue stripes on the sides. Collar is light blue. On the road, light blue with gold stripes on the sides. Collar is gold. In addition, both the home and away uniforms feature the team nickname and numbers in gold.
  • 2013–2014: A new number and name font was introduced, while the basic uniform design was retained.
  • 2015–present: Magellan Corporation introduced as new jersey sponsor. Unlike most teams with jersey sponsors, the Sky opted to emblazon the Magellan logo on the left shoulder in place of the team's alternate logo.

Season-by-season records[edit]

Table key
AMVP All-Star Game Most Valuable Player
APP Assists Peak Performer
COY Coach of the Year
DPOY Defensive Player of the Year
FMVP Finals Most Valuable Player
MIP Most Improved Player
MVP Most Valuable Player
ROY Rookie of the Year
RPP Rebounding Peak Performer
SIX Sixth Woman of the Year
SPOR Sportsmanship Award
SPP Scoring Peak Performer
WNBA champions Conference champions Playoff berth
Season Team Conference Regular season Playoff Results Awards Head coach
W L PCT
Chicago Sky
2006 2006 East 7th 5 29 .147 Dave Cowens
2007 2007 East 6th 14 20 .412 Bo Overton
2008 2008 East 5th 12 22 .353 Steven Key
2009 2009 East 5th 16 18 .471 Steven Key
2010 2010 East 6th 14 20 .412 Steven Key
2011 2011 East 5th 14 20 .412 Sylvia Fowles (DPOY) Pokey Chatman
2012 2012 East 5th 14 20 .412 Pokey Chatman
2013 2013 East 1st 24 10 .706 Lost Conference Semifinals (Indiana, 0–2) Elena Delle Donne (ROY)
Sylvia Fowles (DPOY) (RPP)
Swin Cash (SPOR)
Pokey Chatman
2014 2014 East 4th 15 19 .441 Won Conference Semifinals (Atlanta, 2–1)
Won Conference Finals (Indiana, 2–1)
Lost WNBA Finals (Phoenix, 0–3)
Allie Quigley (SIX) Pokey Chatman
Regular season 128 178 .418 1 Conference Championships
Playoffs 4 7 .364 0 WNBA Championships

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Chicago Sky roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB From Yrs
F 51 United States Breland, Jessica 6' 3" (1.91m) 170 lb (77kg) (1988-02-23) February 23, 1988 (age 27) North Carolina 4
F/C 41 Brazil de Souza, Érika 6' 5" (1.96m) 190 lb (86kg) (1982-03-03) March 3, 1982 (age 33) Brazil 9
G/F 11 United States Delle Donne, Elena 6' 5" (1.96m) 188 lb (85kg) (1989-09-05) September 5, 1989 (age 25) Delaware 3
C 8 Brazil dos Santos, Clarissa Injured 6' 1" (1.85m) 180 lb (82kg) (1988-03-10) March 10, 1988 (age 27) Brazil R
G 21 United States Faulkner, Jamierra 5' 6" (1.68m) 141 lb (64kg) (1992-03-09) March 9, 1992 (age 23) Southern Mississippi 2
G 5 United States Gemelos, Jacki 6' 0" (1.83m) 239 lb (108kg) (1988-11-22) November 22, 1988 (age 26) Southern California R
C 45 United States Goodlett, Sasha 6' 5" (1.96m) 239 lb (108kg) (1990-08-09) August 9, 1990 (age 24) Georgia Tech 4
G/F 44 United States Laney, Betnijah 6' 0" (1.83m) 160 lb (73kg) (1993-10-29) October 29, 1993 (age 21) Rutgers R
F 32 United States Parker, Cheyenne 6' 4" (1.93m) 190 lb (86kg) (1992-08-22) August 22, 1992 (age 22) Middle Tennessee R
G 23 United States Pondexter, Cappie 5' 9" (1.75m) 160 lb (73kg) (1983-01-07) January 7, 1983 (age 32) Rutgers 10
G 14 United States Quigley, Allie 5' 10" (1.78m) 140 lb (64kg) (1986-06-20) June 20, 1986 (age 29) DePaul 7
G 22 United States Vandersloot, Courtney 5' 8" (1.73m) 132 lb (60kg) (1989-02-08) February 8, 1989 (age 26) Gonzaga 5
F 1 United States Young, Tamera 6' 2" (1.88m) 172 lb (78kg) (1986-10-30) October 30, 1986 (age 28) James Madison 8



East: ATLCHICONINDNYWAS | West: LAMINPHOSASEATUL
Head coach
United States Pokey Chatman (LSU)
Assistant coaches
United States Tree Rollins (Clemson)
United States Christie Sides (Louisiana Tech)
Athletic trainer
United States Heidi Wlezien
Strength and conditioning coach
United States Ann Crosby (Western Michigan)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

WNBA roster page

Former players[edit]

Coaches and staff[edit]

Owners[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Chicago Sky head coaches

General managers[edit]

Assistant coaches[edit]

  • Steven Key (2006–2007)
  • Roger Reding (2007)
  • Stephanie White (2007–2010)
  • Michael Mitchell (2008–2010)
  • Jeff House (2011–2012)
  • Christie Sides (2011–present)
  • Tree Rollins (2013-present)

Statistics[edit]

Chicago Sky statistics

Media coverage[edit]

Currently, some Sky games are broadcast locally on The U Too. Select games are broadcast nationally on ESPN or NBA TV. Broadcasters for the Sky games are Eric Collins and Stephen Bardo.

The Sky was on radio for two seasons on WVON-AM 1690 with Les Grobstein on play-by-play and Tajua Catchings (whose sister Tamika Catchings is a star with the Indiana Fever) handling color. After 2008, WVON did not carry games any longer over a financial disagreement, and the Sky has not been on radio since.

All games (excluding blackout games, which are available on ESPN3.com) are broadcast to the WNBA LiveAccess game feeds on the league website. Furthermore, some Sky games are broadcast nationally on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The WNBA has reached an eight-year agreement with ESPN, which will pay right fees to the Sky, as well as other teams in the league.[5]

All-time notes[edit]

Regular season attendance[edit]

  • A sellout for a basketball game at UIC Pavilion (2006–2009) is 6,972.
  • A sellout for a basketball game at Allstate Arena (2010–present) is 17,500.
Regular season all-time attendance

Draft picks[edit]

  • 2006 Expansion Draft: Jia Perkins, Brooke Wyckoff, Elaine Powell, Kiesha Brown, Deanna Jackson, Laura Macchi, Stacey Lovelace, DeTrina White, Ashley Robinson, Chelsea Newton, Bernadette Ngoyisa, Francesca Zara, Stacey Dales
  • 2006: Candice Dupree (6), Jennifer Harris (20), Kerri Gardin (34)
  • 2007 Charlotte Dispersal Draft: Monique Currie (1)
  • 2007: Armintie Price (3), Carla Thomas (10), Stephanie Raymond (20), Jessica Dickson (21), Jenna Rubino (27)
  • 2008: Sylvia Fowles (2), Quianna Chaney (19), Angela Tisdale (33)
  • 2009 Houston Dispersal Draft: Mistie Williams Bass (3)
  • 2009: Kristi Toliver (3), Danielle Gant (16), Jennifer Risper (29)
  • 2010 Sacramento Dispersal Draft: Courtney Paris (4)
  • 2010: Epiphanny Prince (4), Abi Olajuwon (28)
  • 2011: Courtney Vandersloot (3), Carolyn Swords (15), Angie Bjorklund (17), Amy Jaeschke (27)
  • 2012: Shey Peddy (23), Sydney Carter (27)
  • 2013: Elena Delle Donne (2), Brooklyn Pope (28)
  • 2014: Markeisha Gatling (10), Gennifer Brandon (22), Jamierra Faulkner (34)
  • 2015: Cheyenne Parker (5), Betnijah Laney (17), Aleighsa Welch (22)

Trades[edit]

  • June 29, 2006: The Sky traded Ashley Robinson to the Seattle Storm in exchange for Cisti Greenwalt and a second-round pick in the 2007 Draft.
  • March 23, 2007: The Sky traded Chelsea Newton and the 21st pick in the 2007 Draft to the Sacramento Monarchs for the 10th pick in the 2007 Draft.
  • May 24, 2007: The Sky traded Monique Currie to the Washington Mystics in exchange for Chasity Melvin.
  • August 12, 2009: The Sky traded Armintie Price to the Atlanta Dream in exchange for Tamera Young.
  • March 30, 2010: The Sky traded Candice Dupree to the Phoenix Mercury and a second-round pick in the 2010 Draft to the New York Liberty in exchange for Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld from New York. New York also received Cappie Pondexter and Kelly Mazzante from Phoenix.
  • May 13, 2010: The Sky traded Kristi Toliver to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2011 Draft.
  • April 20, 2011: The Sky traded Jia Perkins to the San Antonio Silver Stars in exchange for Michelle Snow.
  • June 1, 2011: The Sky traded a second-round pick in the 2012 Draft to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton.
  • January 2, 2012: The Sky traded the second pick in the 2012 Draft to the Seattle Storm in exchange for Swin Cash, Le'coe Willingham, and the 23rd pick in the 2012 Draft.
  • March 14, 2012: The Sky traded a third-round pick in the 2013 Draft to the San Antonio Silver Stars in exchange for Sonja Petrovic.
  • May 7, 2014: The Sky traded Swin Cash to the Atlanta Dream in exchange for Courtney Clements.
  • February 16, 2015: The Sky traded Epiphanny Prince to the New York Liberty in exchange for Cappie Pondexter.
  • July 27, 2015: The Sky traded Sylvia Fowles and a second-round pick in the 2016 Draft to the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for Erika de Souza from Atlanta. Atlanta also received Damaris Dantas, Reshanda Gray, and a first-round pick in the 2016 Draft from Minnesota.

All-Stars[edit]

  • 2006: Candice Dupree
  • 2007: Candice Dupree
  • 2008: No All-Star Game
  • 2009: Candice Dupree, Sylvia Fowles, Jia Perkins
  • 2010: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2011: Sylvia Fowles, Epiphanny Prince, Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2012: No All-Star Game
  • 2013: Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles, Epiphany Prince
  • 2014: Jessica Breland, Elena Delle Donne
  • 2015: Elena Delle Donne, Cappie Pondexter ·
  • 2016: No All-Star Game

Olympians[edit]

  • 2008: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2012: Swin Cash, Sylvia Fowles

Honors and awards[edit]

  • 2006 All-Rookie Team: Candice Dupree
  • 2007 All-Rookie Team: Armintie Price
  • 2008 All-Defensive Second Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2008 All-Rookie Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2010 All-WNBA First Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2010 All-Defensive First Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2010 All-Rookie Team: Epiphanny Prince
  • 2010 Stars at the Sun Game MVP: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2011 All-WNBA Second Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2011 Defensive Player of the Year: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2011 All-Defensive First Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2011 All-Rookie Team: Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2012 All-WNBA Second Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2012 All-Defensive First Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2013 Rookie of the Year: Elena Delle Donne
  • 2013 Defensive Player of the Year: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2013 All-Rookie Team: Elena Delle Donne
  • 2013 All-Defensive First Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2013 Peak Performer (Rebounding): Sylvia Fowles
  • 2014 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year: Allie Quigley
  • 2014 All-Defensive Second Team: Sylvia Fowles

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Sky hire controversial coach". Articles.chicagotribune.com. 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2013-03-22. 
  2. ^ "SKY: Sky History - 2011". Wnba.com. Retrieved 2013-03-22. 
  3. ^ "SKY: Chicago Sky Waive Shey Peddy and Sydney Carter in 2012". Wnba.com. Retrieved 2013-03-22. 
  4. ^ "SKY: Sky Schedule 2013". Wnba.com. Retrieved 2013-03-22. 
  5. ^ "WNBA Extends TV Rights Deal with ESPN and ABC". Sports Business. June 18, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Atlanta Dream
WNBA Eastern Conference Champions
2014 (First title)
Succeeded by
Incumbent