CHICAGO – There is a new challenge ahead of the Chicago Sky in 2022, and it’s a very good one for the team to have.

For the first time in their franchise’s history, the team will step onto the court as the reigning WNBA champions after a memorable run through the playoffs last fall. After a 16-16 regular season, they went 8-2 in the playoffs, winning two “win-or-go-home” games in the early rounds, then beating the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA Finals.

The glow of a championship has been over the team for the last six months, but the time has come for the team to get back to work, which they did this week.

A healthy amount of players are already in training camp in Deerfield this week as work begins for the 2022 WNBA season. Some have still yet to arrive due to other obligations or playing overseas, but when they return, the challenge ahead of them is a big one.

The WNBA hasn’t had a repeat champion in two decades, with the 2001 and 2002 Los Angeles Sparks being the last team to do so. Coincidentally, that will be the Sky’s first opponent for their season opener on May 6th at Wintrust Arena.

Two preseason games remain for the team ahead of that contest with the first coming on Monday at home against the Dallas Wings at 11:30 AM. On Saturday, April 30th, the Sky complete a quick preseason with a game against the Fever in Indianapolis at 2 PM.

This week guards Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot, both three-time WNBA All-Stars, discussed the mindset of the team as they look ahead to defending their title over the summer and fall.

Larry Hawley has more on that from WGN News Now in the video above.