The Chicago Sky is an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, playing in the Eastern Conference of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The franchise was founded before the 2006 WNBA season began. It is owned by Michael J. Alter (principal owner) and Margaret Stender (minority owner). The team experienced a period of success from 2013 to 2016, making four playoff appearances and playing in the 2014 WNBA Finals.
|Founded||February 8, 2005|
|Team colors||Sky blue, radiant yellow, black, white|
|General manager||James Wade|
|Head coach||James Wade|
|Ownership||Michael J. Alter|
Margaret Stender, Michelle Williams, Mathew Knowles
|Conference titles||1 (2014)|
In February 2005, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that Chicago had been awarded 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 Mathew Knowles, father of Destiny's Child lead singer Beyoncé Knowles.
Reaching for the Sky (2006–2008)Edit
The Sky achieved 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 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 Eastern Conference playoff contestants, even holding the 4th-place position 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.
The Sky selected Sylvia Fowles with the second overall pick of the 2008 WNBA Draft. 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 Fowles was injured for most of the season.
In the off-season, Fowles was selected to play on the United States Olympic team. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics she averaged 13.4 ppg and 8.4 rbg, leading her team to a perfect record and a gold medal.
Sky's the Limit (2009–2013)Edit
In the 2009 WNBA Draft, the Sky selected point guard Kristi Toliver with the third pick. A standout player from the University of Maryland, Toliver was known for her impressive shooting ability and propensity to produce in critical situations. Never was this more evident than in the 2006 National Championship game when Toliver, then a freshman, shot a game-tying three-point basket to send the game into overtime (additional minutes) against Duke, eventually leading to a win and Maryland's first National Championship. In her debut season she averaged 7.6 points per game, 1.4 rebounds per game and 1.9 assists per game.
In the 2009 season, the team had high hopes of reaching the playoffs for the first time. The Sky would be conference playoff contenders all year long, even achieving the second-place position in the conference for a small portion of their season. Unfortunately, with a 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.
The Sky finished fifth in the Eastern Conference. They only needed to win the last game of the season at home against Detroit, but after being ahead by 14 points at halftime, the Sky fell behind by 18 points to a team that did not need to win this game since their playoff spot was sealed prior to the game.
On September 23, 2009, USA Basketball announced Candice Dupree was one of 14 athletes 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 eventually made the Olympic roster for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Entering the 2010 season, the Sky made some offseason changes. The Sky traded 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 lost their first four games. At one point during the season, they were at .500 (won half and lost half of their games), just a few games back for the final playoff spot. However, the Sky ended up losing eight of their final ten games, eliminating them from playoff contention for the fifth consecutive season. They finished 14–20, sixth in the Eastern Conference. Key resigned as GM and coach.
In 2011, the Sky were led again by Fowles, who averaged a "double-double" 20 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. The Sky finished the season at 14-20 but were encouraged by going 10-7 at home.
The Sky selected Shey Peddy (Temple) with the 23rd overall pick and Sydney Carter (Texas A&M) with the 27th pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft. Peddy and Carter were both eventually waived on May 14, 2012. The Sky began the season 7-1, but finished 14–20 for the second consecutive season. The Sky remained the only WNBA franchise to never make the playoffs.
Playoff runs (2013–2016)Edit
The 2013 WNBA season was a turning point for the Sky. Selecting Elena Delle Donne from Delaware with the second overall pick, as well as Brooklyn Pope, in the 2013 WNBA Draft, the team had high hopes. Delle Donne would become the first rookie to lead the All-Star voting, averaging 18.1 points per game (fourth in the league) and leading the Sky to a 24-10 regular season record, finishing first in the Eastern Conference. Reaching the playoffs for the first time, the Sky fell in two games to the Indiana Fever.
Delle Donne, Fowles, and teammate Swin Cash received multiple honors (Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Peak Performer in Rebounds, and the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, respectively). Chatman finished a close second for Coach of the Year. Delle Donne narrowly missed the MVP award, while Fowles and Delle Donne were named to the All-WNBA first and second teams, respectively.
Although the team's 2014 season record would be an unimpressive 15-19, the Sky qualified for the WNBA playoffs and eliminated Atlanta and Indiana in the first two rounds, making it to the WNBA Finals for the first time. Despite being swept in the championship series by Phoenix, it was an all-time high for the Sky.
They played in the 2016 WNBA playoffs.
The Sky hired Amber Stocks as head coach and general manager on December 6, 2016. During the 2016–17 offseason, in what was called one of the biggest trades in league history, the Sky traded Delle Donne to the Washington Mystics, receiving Kahleah Copper, Stefanie Dolson, and the Mystics' #2 overall pick in the 2017 WNBA draft. The Sky then missed the playoffs for the first time in five years in the 2017 season, posting a 12–22 record. In the ensuing 2018 WNBA draft, they selected Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams in the first round. The Sky missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season in the 2018 season. On August 31, 2018, the Sky relieved Stocks as head coach and general manager.
Name, logo, and uniformsEdit
- 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.
- 2011–2012: At home, white with light blue stripes on the sides. Collar 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.
- 2013–2014: A new number and name font was introduced, while the basic uniform design was retained.
- 2015: Magellan Corporation introduced as new Jersey sponsor. Unlike most teams with jersey sponsors, the Sky opted to emblazon the Magellan logo on the left shoulder in place of the team's alternate logo.
- 2016: As part of a league-wide initiative, all games featured all-color uniform matchups. Therefore, the Sky unveiled a gold uniform in addition to their regular light blue road uniform. Magellan was retained as the uniform sponsor.
- 2018: Magellan was joined by University of Chicago Medicine as jersey sponsors.
- Table key
|WNBA champions||Conference champions||Playoff berth|
|Season||Team||Conference||Regular season||Playoff Results||Awards||Head coach|
|2011||2011||East||5th||14||20||.412||Sylvia Fowles (DPOY)||Pokey Chatman|
|2013||2013||East||1st||24||10||.706||Lost Conference Semifinals (Indiana, 0–2)||Elena Delle Donne (ROY)
Sylvia Fowles (DPOY, RPP)
Swin Cash (SPOR)
|2014||2014||East||4th||15||19||.441||Won Conference Semifinals (Atlanta, 2–1)
Won Conference Finals (Indiana, 2–1)
Lost WNBA Finals (Phoenix, 0–3)
|Allie Quigley (SIX)||Pokey Chatman|
|2015||2015||East||2nd||21||13||.618||Lost Conference Semifinals (Indiana, 1–2)||Elena Delle Donne (MVP, SPP)
Allie Quigley (SIX)
Courtney Vandersloot (APP)
|2016||2016||East||2nd||18||16||.529||Won Second Round (Atlanta, 1–0)
Lost WNBA Semifinals (Los Angeles, 1–3)
|2017||2017||East||5th||12||22||.353||Courtney Vandersloot (APP)||Amber Stocks|
|2018||2018||East||4th||13||21||.382||Courtney Vandersloot (APP)||Amber Stocks|
|Regular season||179||229||.439||1 Conference Championships|
|Playoffs||7||12||.368||0 WNBA Championships|
|Chicago Sky roster|
- Cappie Pondexter (2015-2017), now a member of the Indiana Fever
- Imani Boyette (2016–2017), now a member of the Atlanta Dream
- Tamera Young (2009–2017), now a member of the Las Vegas Aces
- Monique Currie (2007), now a member of the Washington Mystics
- Stacey Dales (2006–2007)
- Elena Delle Donne (2013–2016), now a member of the Washington Mystics
- Érika de Souza (2015–2016)
- Clarissa dos Santos (2015-2016), now a member of the San Antonio Stars
- Candice Dupree (2006–2009), now a member of the Indiana Fever
- Sylvia Fowles (2008–2014), now a member of the Minnesota Lynx
- Cathrine Kraayeveld (2010–2011)
- Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert (2006)
- Nikki McCray (2006)
- Chasity Melvin (2006–2008)
- Bernadette Ngoyisa (2006–2007)
- Chelsea Newton (2006)
- Jia Perkins (2006–2010)
- Elaine Powell (2006)
- Ashley Robinson (2006)
- Brooke Wyckoff (2006–2009)
Coaches and staffEdit
|Chicago Sky head coaches|
- Dave Cowens (2006)
- Bo Overton (2007)
- Steven Key (2008–2010)
- Pokey Chatman (2011–2016)
- Amber Stocks (2017–2018)
- James Wade (2018–present)
|Chicago Sky statistics|
The Sky was on radio for two seasons on WVON-AM 1690 with Les Grobstein on play-by-play and Tajua Catchings (whose sister Tamika Catchings is a star with the Indiana Fever) handling color. After 2008, WVON did not carry games any longer over a financial disagreement, and the Sky has not been on radio since.
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 (2010–2017) is 17,500.
- A sellout for a basketball game at Wintrust Arena (2018–present) is 10,387.
|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)
- 2012: Shey Peddy (23), Sydney Carter (27)
- 2013: Elena Delle Donne (2), Brooklyn Pope (28)
- 2014: Markeisha Gatling (10), Gennifer Brandon (22), Jamierra Faulkner (34)
- 2015: Cheyenne Parker (5), Betnijah Laney (17), Aleighsa Welch (22)
- 2016: Imani Boyette (10), Jordan Jones (34)
- 2017: Alaina Coates (2), Tori Jankoska (9), Chantel Osahor (21), Makayla Epps (33)
- 2018: Diamond DeShields (3), Gabby Williams (4), Amarah Coleman (28)
- 2019: Katie Lou Samuelson (4), Chloe Jackson (15), María Conde (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.
- January 2, 2012: The Sky traded the second pick in the 2012 Draft to the Seattle Storm in exchange for Swin Cash, Le'coe Willingham, and the 23rd pick in the 2012 Draft.
- March 14, 2012: The Sky traded a third-round pick in the 2013 Draft to the San Antonio Silver Stars in exchange for Sonja Petrovic.
- May 7, 2014: The Sky traded Swin Cash to the Atlanta Dream in exchange for Courtney Clements.
- February 16, 2015: The Sky traded Epiphanny Prince to the New York Liberty in exchange for Cappie Pondexter.
- July 27, 2015: The Sky traded Sylvia Fowles and a second-round pick in the 2016 Draft to the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for Erika de Souza from Atlanta. Atlanta also received Damaris Dantas, Reshanda Gray, and a first-round pick in the 2016 Draft from Minnesota.
- February 2, 2017: The Sky traded Elena Delle Donne to the Washington Mystics in exchange for Kahleah Copper, Stefanie Dolson, and the #2 overall pick in the 2017 Draft.
- February 27, 2017: The Sky traded Clarissa Dos Santos to the San Antonio Stars in exchange for Astou Ndour.
- May 20, 2019: The Sky traded their second round pick in the 2020 Draft to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for Jantel Lavender.
- May 21, 2019: The Sky traded Alaina Coates to Minnesota in exchange for Minnesota's third round pick in the 2020 Draft.
- 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
- 2012: No All-Star Game
- 2013: Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles, Epiphany Prince
- 2014: Jessica Breland, Elena Delle Donne
- 2015: Elena Delle Donne, Cappie Pondexter ·
- 2016: No All-Star Game
- 2017: Stefanie Dolson, Allie Quigley
- 2018: Allie Quigley
- 2008: Sylvia Fowles
- 2012: Swin Cash, Sylvia Fowles
- 2016: Elena Delle Donne, Erika de Souza (BRA), Clarissa Dos Santos (BRA)
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
- 2012 All-WNBA Second Team: Sylvia Fowles
- 2012 All-Defensive First Team: Sylvia Fowles
- 2013 Rookie of the Year: Elena Delle Donne
- 2013 Defensive Player of the Year: Sylvia Fowles
- 2013 All-Rookie Team: Elena Delle Donne
- 2013 All-Defensive First Team: Sylvia Fowles
- 2013 Peak Performer (Rebounding): Sylvia Fowles
- 2014 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year: Allie Quigley
- 2014 All-Defensive Second Team: Sylvia Fowles
- 2015 WNBA MVP: Elena Delle Donne
- 2015 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year: Allie Quigley
- 2015 Peak Performer (Scoring): Elena Delle Donne
- 2015 Peak Performer (Assists): Courtney Vandersloot
- 2015 All-WNBA First Team: Elena Delle Donne
- 2015 All-WNBA Second Team: Courtney Vandersloot
- 2016 All-Rookie Team: Imani Boyette
- 2017 Peak Performer (Assists): Courtney Vandersloot
- 2018 All-WNBA Second Team: Courtney Vandersloot
- 2018 Peak Performer (Assists): Courtney Vandersloot
- "Sky Timeline". Sky.WNBA.com. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
- "Mayor Emanuel Joins Chicago Sky to Announce Team's Move to Wintrust Arena". Sky.WNBA.com (Press release). NBA Media Ventures, LLC. February 2, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
- Ecker, Danny (October 22, 2017). "Chicago Sky moving to new McCormick Place arena". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
- "Chicago Sky Unveil New Logo". Sky.WNBA.com. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- "Sky Logistics" (PDF). 2017 Chicago Sky Media Guide. WNBA Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
- "Chicago Sky Reproduction Guideline Sheet". WNBA Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
- "Sky hire controversial coach". Articles.chicagotribune.com. 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- "SKY: Sky History - 2011". Wnba.com. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- "SKY: Chicago Sky Waive Shey Peddy and Sydney Carter in 2012". Wnba.com. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- "SKY: Sky Schedule 2013". Wnba.com. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- "Chicago trades Elena Delle Donne for No. 2 overall pick, 2 players". ESPN.com. February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- "Chicago Sky Announce Change in Coaching Staff". OurSportsCentral.com. August 31, 2018.
- "Chicago Sky Unveil New Nike Uniform for 2018 Season". Sky.WNBA.com. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. April 26, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
- "WNBA Extends TV Rights Deal with ESPN and ABC". Sports Business. June 18, 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- "Chicago Sky Front Office". Retrieved September 20, 2005.
- "Chicago Sky take flight". Retrieved September 20, 2005.
- "WNBA Expanding to Chicago in 2006". Retrieved February 8, 2005.
- "Chicago Sky Announces Expansion Draft Selections". 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