CHICAGO – It’s been a year of homecomings for one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time in 2021 here in Chicago.
Naperville native Candace Parker’s signing with the Chicago Sky was the biggest in the history of the franchise, bringing the six-time WNBA All-Star and two-time MVP back home for the first time in her career.
As she aids the Sky’s run to the WNBA Playoffs this season, she also remains very active in the community through a variety of programs. On Thursday, the City of Chicago honored Parker’s contribution with a day set aside in her honor.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot made September 16th “Candace Parker Day” in the city after officially signing the proclamation on Wednesday on Morgan’s on Fulton. The mayor presented the forward with the official proclamation at the event that also celebrated the launch of the “Candace Parker Collection” by Adidas.
It’s all part of the day to honor the former Naperville Central High School star who was named the Gatorade High School Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004. Parker then went to Tennessee, where she was named the Wooden Award winner in 2007 and 2008, leading the Volunteers to a national championship in both seasons.
In 13 seasons in Los Angeles, Parker established herself as one of the greatest players in WNBA history as a member of the Sparks. She was a five-time All-Star with the team, won the MVP in 2008 and 2013, while also being named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. Parker helped the Sparks to a championship in the 2016 seasons.
The forward signed with the Sky this past offseason and was named to a her sixth All-Star Game, averaging 13.3 points and 8.9 rebounds in 21 games this season.
“It’s so special,” said Parker of the honor. “That’s part of why I came back to my roots is that everything comes full circle. Just to hear Mayor Lightfoot just talk about how they saw me my senior year and now look, I’m 35 years young.
“It’s super special. It means a lot.”