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. The team is owned by Michael J. Alter (principle owner) and Margaret Stender (minority owner). Like some other WNBA teams, the Sky has the distinction of not being affiliated with an NBA counterpart, although an NBA team, the Chicago Bulls, also plays in the same city.
The Sky has missed the WNBA Playoffs in each of its five years in Chicago. The franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as Rutgers standout Epiphanny Prince, imposing center Sylvia Fowles, and young point guard Courtney Vandersloot.
In February 2005, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that Chicago had been awarded with 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 Matthew Knowles, father of Destiny's Child lead singer Beyoncé Knowles.
Reaching for the Sky (2006–2008)Edit
The Sky posted 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 Chicago Sky's new head coach and general manager on December 12, 2006.
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 in the Eastern Conference playoff picture all year long, even holding the #4 seed 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.
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 Sylvia Fowles was injured for most of the season.
In the off season Chicago Sky rookie center Sylvia Fowles was selected to play on the United States Olympic team. In the Beijing Olympics she averaged 13.4 ppg and 8.4 rbg leading her team to a perfect record in the Olympics and a gold medal.
Sky's the Limit (2009–present)Edit
In the 2009 WNBA Draft, the Chicago Sky selected point guard Kristi Toliver with the 3rd pick. A standout player from the University of Maryland, Toliver was known for her impressive shooting ability and propensity to produce in clutch situations. Never was this more evident than in the 2006 National Championship game when Toliver, then a freshman, hit a game-tying three-pointer to send the game into overtime against Duke, eventually leading to a win and Maryland's first National Championship. In her debut season she averaged 7.6 ppg, 1.4 rbg and 1.9 apg.
In the 2009 season, the team had high hopes of reaching the playoffs for the first time. The Sky would be in the their Conference playoff picture all year long, even holding the number two seed for a small portion of their season. Unfortunately, despite with a franchise 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, and the Sky finished 5th in the Eastern Conference.
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. The Chicago Sky General Manager and Head Coach signed a two year contract extension on September 25, 2009. On September 23, 2009 USA Basketball announced to the public that Dupree is one of 14 athletes who were 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 is anticipated to make the Olympic roster for the 2012 Games in London.
Entering the 2010 season, the Sky made some offseason moves. The Sky traded Candice 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 opened the season losing their first four games. At one point during the season, they were at .500, just a few games back for the final playoff spot. However, the Sky ended up losing eight of their final ten games of the season, eliminating the Sky from playoff contention for the fifth consecutive season. They finished 14-20, sixth in the Eastern Conference.
- 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–present: At home, white with light blue stripes on the sides. Color 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.
|Season||Team||Conference||Regular season||Playoff Results||Head coach|
|2006||2006||East||7th||5||29||.147||Did not qualify||Dave Cowens|
|2007||2007||East||6th||14||20||.412||Did not qualify||Bo Overton|
|2008||2008||East||5th||12||22||.353||Did not qualify||Steven Key|
|2009||2009||East||5th||16||18||.471||Did not qualify||Steven Key|
|2010||2010||East||6th||14||20||.412||Did not qualify||Steven Key|
|2011||2011||East||5th||14||20||.412||Did not qualify||Pokey Chatman|
|Regular season||75||129||.368||0 Conference Championships|
|Playoffs||0||0||.000||0 WNBA Championships|
- Shameka Christon (2010)
- Monique Currie (2007), now a member of the Washington Mystics
- Stacey Dales (2006–2007)
- Candice Dupree (2006–2009), now a member of the Phoenix Mercury
- Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert (2006)
- Nikki McCray (2006)
- Chasity Melvin (2006–2008)
- Bernadette Ngoyisa (2006–2007)
- Chelsea Newton (2006)
- Jia Perkins (2006–2010), now a member of the San Antonio Silver Stars
- Elaine Powell (2006)
- Ashley Robinson (2006), now a member of the Seattle Storm
- Brooke Wyckoff (2006–2009)
Coaches and staffEdit
|Chicago Sky head coaches|
- Steven Key (2006–2007)
- Roger Reding (2007)
- Stephanie White (2007–2010)
- Michael Mitchell (2008–2010)
- Jeff House (2011–present)
- Christie Sides (2011–present)
|Chicago Sky statistics|
Currently, some Sky games are broadcast on the Comcast Network (CN100), which is a local television station for the area of Chicago. More often than not, NBA TV will pick up the feed from the local broadcast, which is shown nationally. Broadcasters for the Sky games are Brent Stover and Patricia Babcock-McGraw.
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.
Regular season attendanceEdit
- 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|
- 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)
- 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.
- 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
Honors and awardsEdit
- 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
- ↑ "WNBA Extends TV Rights Deal with ESPN and ABC". Sports Business. June 18, 2007. http://www.sportbusiness.com/news/162162/wnba-extends-tv-rights-deal-with-espn-and-abc. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- "Chicago Sky Front Office". http://www.wnba.com/sky/sky_front_office_new.html. Retrieved September 20, 2005.
- "Chicago Sky take flight". http://www.ccchronicle.com/paper/citybeat.php?id=1680. Retrieved September 20, 2005.
- "WNBA Expanding to Chicago in 2006". http://www.wnba.com/news/chicago2006_release050208.html. Retrieved February 8, 2005.
- "Chicago Sky Announces Expansion Draft Selections". http://www.wnba.com/news/sky_expansion_051116.html. Retrieved November 16, 2005.
- February 28, 2006 Chicago Sky press release announcing Michelle Williams on its ownership group
- Steven Key named Head Coach/General Manager
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