Gabby Williams won’t play for the Sky in 2021

Sports

PALMETTO, FLORIDA – AUGUST 16: Gabby Williams #15 of the Chicago Sky dribbles during the second half of a game against the Atlanta Dream at Feld Entertainment Center on August 16, 2020 in Palmetto, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

DEERFIELD – She’s been one of the strong young players for the franchise as they’ve moved their way towards the top of the WNBA.

But the team’s not going to have Gabby Williams for the 2021 season.

This week, the team officially put the third-year forward on the suspended list, which means that she won’t play for the Sky or any other team during the rest of the year. Williams’ salary won’t count against the team’s salary cap and the Sky still maintain her rights through the end of the year.

Head coach and general manager James Wade didn’t elaborate when asked about the decision on Friday, but the forward’s involvement with the French national team ahead of this summer’s Olympic games figures to play a factor.

Wade told Annie Costabile of the Chicago Sun Times before the WNBA Draft in April that the French Federation of Basketball was interested in having Williams play for the, and that the Sky supported the move.

Drafted by the team with the fourth overall selection of the WNBA Draft in 2018, Williams has been a consistent member of the team’s rotation. In 89 career games that includes 36 starts, most in his first season with the team, the forward averaged 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

In the 2020 season in the “bubble” at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, Williams averaged 7.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in 22 games.

Playing for Sopron in Hungary as part of the EuroLeague in 2021, Williams was named the league’s defensive player of the year along while also being named to the first team.

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