Welcome home, Candace

Can the Naperville Central alum bring the Sky a title? That seems to be the plan.

Welcome home, Candace

Good morning, frents!

Anyone know if we can get Redditors to pump up Nick Foles' trade value?

Wednesday's results
Preds 2, Hawks 1 (OT/SO)
St. Johns 81, DePaul 68

Tonight's schedule
No games

Candace is coming home

(USA Today Sports)

Now this is how you do an offseason.

While the city's baseball teams continue to inspect their pocket lint, the Sky stepped up in a big way on Wednesday.

They're reportedly bringing Candace Parker home. Though the deal is all but done, WNBA's free agency doesn't open until Monday so the deal can't be officially announced until then.

It's not every day that Chicago's WNBA team can land the city's biggest sports, but signing Parker definitely qualifies.

What's more, the addition of Parker could line the Sky up for more big headlines in the future. The two-time MVP is joining a Sky core that already had big dreams and can now be considered the legit title contender that owner Michael Alter said they would be.

Parker is 34 years old and made her name around these parts while starring at Naperville Central in the early 2000s. She became a legend early as news of her dunking in west suburban gyms began to spread. Parker would go on to win three straight Ms. Basketball awards before heading to Tennessee to win two titles for Pat Summitt and becoming the first overall pick in the 2008 WNBA draft.

She's been with the Los Angeles Sparks ever since, racking up an impressive resume that includes:

  • Winning both rookie of the year and league MVP in 2008 (She'd win a second MVP in 2013)
  • Winning the 2016 WNBA title with the Sparks and being named Finals MVP
  • Five All-Star teams, six all-WNBA first teams
  • 2020 WNBA defensive player of the year
  • Two Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012)

And now she's back where it all started, trying to bring a first title to a WNBA franchise that didn't even exist when she left to seek her basketball fame in Knoxville.

It all makes for a great story. The Sky has been steadily growing in popularity the past few years with stars like Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot and Diamond DeShields. They play in a nice arena in Wintrust and here's hoping that at least some fans can get in to watch when the season starts this summer. She will definitely put people in seats and get more media out to games.

It also just kind of feels like this is the way that Parker's career story has to end. She was one of the most visible media faces during last year's NBA All-Star game at the United Center and even starred in this great video calling Chicago the "mecca of basketball."

We didn't get to watch her college career unfold at a local school and she's spent her entire professional career on the West Coast.

But that's changing now and the Sky might just be the next team to win a title in this town.


Candace's father Larry played at which Big Ten school in the 1970s?

High school sports are returning

After almost a full year of speculation and strife, the IHSA announced the return of prep sports in coming weeks.

  • Basketball can start immediately after a week of practice, but it'll be an extremely abbreviated season. Games can only run through March 13 and there won't be a postseason.
  • Football teams can start practicing on March 3 and start a six-game schedule on March 19. There also won't be a postseason.
  • Spring sports like baseball, softball and track will start on April 5.

The decision to play is still up to every individual school district and regions must still get to Tier 4 before games can be held. It's a complete and depressing cluster, but what hasn't been this past year?

Hawks fall in a shootout

Kevin Lankinen had 41 saves and held the Predators to just one goal over 65 minutes of hockey ... but the offense couldn't manage enough chances to outscore Nashville before the shootout coin flip.

  • The Hawks have earned a point in five straight games and currently sit third in the Central. They'll play Columbus at the UC on Friday and Sunday.

1. Bill Barnwell worked out a Deshaun Watson trade package for all 32 teams and ranked them. The Bears landed 16th. (ESPN)

2. Opening up the pocketbook to pay Nelson Cruz would be a fun way for the Sox to stick it to their last remaining rival in the AL Central. But — surprise! — Jerry Reinsdorf reportedly has no interest in doing so. (NBC Sports Chicago)

3. Are the Bulls really in on the Lonzo Ball sweepstakes? (Bleacher Nation)

4. Jon Lester talked about leaving the Cubs during his news conference with the Nats on Wednesday. (Cubs Insider)

5. Here's an obituary for Joe Camarillo, drummer for the Waco Brothers and a Chicago rock mainstay for the last 30 years. (Chicago Reader)

Trivia answer: Iowa