Two months ago, WNBA player Candace Parker (@candaceparker) donned new threads at the start of the 2021 season—and we must say, Chicago Sky (sky.wnba.com) blue looks good on the Naperville native. Here, Parker talks returning home, favorite career moments and her new podcast.
How does it feel to finally be returning home?
Returning to the Chicagoland area means everything to me—it’s where I first fell in love with basketball. Nothing feels better than wearing your home jersey on the court in the town you grew up in… playing in front of the people that have followed me since I picked up a basketball.
What is one of your favorite moments of your career?
I’ve been fortunate to have so many amazing moments in my career, so it’s hard to choose just one. Every step, accomplishment and failure got me to where I am today. A highlight I would definitely say is our 2016 championship season. A WNBA championship was one of the hardest things to accomplish, and looking back, the journey was the best part!
What is your advice to young girls who dream of having a career in sports like you?
Work hard but enjoy each moment of your journey; there’s so much emphasis on leaving a legacy or reaching that end goal, but I’ve learned the most joy is in the present. Build relationships with your teammates and coaches. Take pictures. Believe you belong. Remember the losses and the wins.
Tell me more about your new podcast. What was the inspiration behind it, and what can fans expect?
I’m super excited for my new podcast, Moments. I get to chat with some of my favorite people about their journey as parents. There is no blueprint to parenting and we’re all learning as we go, so it’s fun to have a space to learn from each other.
How do you want to be remembered?
I think of the legacy that [University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach] Pat Summitt had on me as a player and mentor that went beyond the court, and I aspire to be remembered in the same way as a person. Obviously I have benefited greatly from the game of basketball, but I hope I have left the game better than I came into it.