Kahleah Copper Credits Chicago’s Success to Veteran Leadership

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The Chicago Sky is one step closer to becoming the first WNBA team to repeat since the Sparks did it in 2001-02 after closing out their first-round series with a Game 3, 90-72 win over the New York Liberty.

The defending champs were led by the combined 44-point effort from Kahleah Copper, Courtney Vandersloot, and Allie Quigley and the near triple-double effort from Candace Parker (14 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, and two blocks). The win was thanks to their balanced scoring, veteran leadership, and experience from last year’s run to the 2021 title.

Postgame, Copper, said that she learned a lot from Parker and Vandersloot, two W mainstays that have carved out fantastic basketball careers. Especially Parker, who has won two championships and was named Finals MVP in 2016. Parker has been named MVP twice, earned DPY honors in 2020, and voted to the All-Star Game seven times in her career.

“To see them really connect, I’m just like, ‘Wow,’” Copper said about Parker and Vandersloot’s leadership. “I’m just learning. I’m just sitting here and trying to do whatever I can do. That’s the experience, and that’s the leadership we need.”

Coach James Wade elaborated on that point while also lifting the veteran presence of Quigley and Vandersloot, who he believes embody what the Chicago Sky is about as a team and culture.

“I’m proud of the way they responded (tonight),” Wade said about his starting backcourt. “We love having the both of them, and when you think of Chicago Sky basketball, the names come to mind.”

The Sky will play the winner of the Sun-Wings series that will conclude with Wednesday’s Game 3.

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