CHICAGO – While change from year-to-year is inevitable in professional sports, there are always some players that fans hope stay put.

That was the case for a pair of guards for the Chicago Sky, who were key contributors to the franchise’s first WNBA championship last fall.

While it took a few weeks, the team has some great news for fans on Thursday.

The Sky announced guards Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot will return to the team for the 2022season, reportedly on a pair of one-year deals.

“We are incredibly happy to announce the signatures of Allie and Sloot ¬– we don’t take these moments for granted,” said Sky general manager and head coach James Wade. “This is a big day for our franchise to bring back two of the biggest cornerstones in our team’s history and they make every single player around them better.

“Both Allie and Sloot have done so much for our team and for the city to arrive at the level at this level, and it speaks so much about their character and talent.”

A three-time All-Star and arguable one of the best point guards in league history with a number of WNBA assist records, Vandersloot returns to the Sky for a 12th season. Quigley, a Joliet native and also a three-time All-Star, will return for her 14th season in the WNBA and the tenth with the Sky.

Each will return and try to help the Sky win a second-consecutive WNBA championship, something that hasn’t been accomplished since the 2001 and 2002 Los Angeles Sparks did so 20 years ago.

“We have built something special here in Chicago, and it didn’t happen overnight,” said Vandersloot in a statement released by the team. “I am proud to be a part of this franchise and beyond excited for the opportunity to join my teammates and the Sky family to try and go back-to-back!”

Vandersloot has led the league in assists the past five seasons, averaging 8.6 per game then stepping up her totals in the playoffs. She broke the league record for assists in a postseason, playoff game along with the highest percentage per game overall in the playoffs and a finals series.

Fittingly, it was her two free throws in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals against the Mercury at Wintrust Arena that sealed the Sky’s first WNBA title.

Slowed early in the season by a hamstring injury, Quigley would play in 26 games for the Sky with 11 starts, ave

raging 13.2 points per game. She also won the WNBA Three-Point Contest for a third time in the summer. “I’m so excited to be back with the Sky,” said Quigley in a statement released by the team. “I love this team and I love playing at home. Wintrust Arena was unbelievable last October and I can’t wait to get back to that feeling with our fans.”