From Kristine Anigwe to Courtney Williams: Meet the new-look Chicago Sky
The Chicago Sky will take the court in front of home fans at Wintrust Arena for the first time this season Friday.
After an unsuccessful title defense and the departures of most of the 2021 championship core, the offseason held a bit of uncertainty, but the retooled Sky are off to a 2-0 start with road wins against the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury on the WNBA’s opening weekend. At the team’s media day, coach James Wade said “we’re going to cause some chaos” with the season’s expectations.
To get you ready for the season ahead, here’s a brief introduction to each member of the new-look roster.
No. 33: Forward/Center, 6-4
Anigwe spent time with the Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, Los Angeles Sparks and Mercury before joining the Sky this season. With Ruthy Hebard on maternity leave, Anigwe was added to the roster as the pregnancy/childbirth replacement player. In the Sky’s win against the Mercury, she contributed four points, five rebounds and two blocks.
No. 25: Forward, 6-4
Selected in the third round of the 2019 draft by the Wings, Bertsch joined the Sky on a training camp contract. She made her first WNBA regular-season appearance in the opener against the Lynx. Through two games, she’s averaging seven points, 4.5 rebounds and three assists.
No. 2: Guard/Forward, 6-1
The 2021 WNBA Finals MVP returns this season “in the driver’s seat.” After signing a player marketing agreement with the league, she spent the offseason in the U.S. building her brand instead of playing overseas. She also helped Wade rebuild the roster, calling herself “assistant GM.” The leading scorer on the 2021 championship team, Copper is off to a hot start averaging 17 points, six rebounds and three assists.
No. 11: Guard, 5-6
A Gary native, Evans is in her third season in the WNBA. She joined the Sky through a trade with the Wings in 2021. Evans didn’t see much playing time with Courtney Vandersloot as the Sky’s starting point guard, but she’s expected to take a leap this season. With Marina Mabrey out with an ankle injury, Evans started against the Mercury and tallied 13 points, four rebounds and five assists.
No. 35: Guard, 6-1
Gardner has spent much of her professional basketball career playing in Turkey, Israel, Romania and Spain. At 32, she was the oldest player ever selected to the WNBA All-Rookie team in 2022. Known for her relentless defense, Gardner recorded four steals, three rebounds, three assists and one block in 22 minutes in the season-opening win.
No. 20: Forward, 6-3
Harrison was drafted 12th overall in 2015 by the Mercury but sat out the season with a torn ACL. She made her WNBA debut in 2016. In 2017, she was traded to the San Antonio Stars (now Las Vegas Aces), then again in 2019 to the Wings, where she played before signing a two-year deal with the Sky as an unrestricted free agent. Harrison underwent surgery to repair her left meniscus last week and has no timetable for a return.
No. 24: Forward, 6-4
The Sky selected Hebard at No. 8 in the 2022 draft. In her rookie season, she appeared in all 22 games, averaging 5.7 points and 3.9 rebounds and shooting 75% from the free-throw line. Hebard recently gave birth to her first child and, in partnership with Togethxr, released a short film detailing her experience as a new mom. Her timeline to return to the Sky frontcourt is unknown.
No. 23: Forward, 6-3
Kone, who has yet to make her WNBA debut, was drafted at No. 29 by the New York Liberty in 2022. The Malian basketball player was claimed off waivers on May 18 by the Sky after playing in two preseason games with the Liberty.
No. 4: Guard, 5-11
Mabrey has spent her WNBA career with the Sparks and Wings. After two seasons in Dallas, she was traded in a four-team deal involving the Liberty, Mercury, Wings and Sky. Mabrey started Friday’s win against the Lynx but sat out Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.
No. 21: Forward, 6-1
After going undrafted out of Virginia Commonwealth in 2014, Parks played professional basketball internationally. With Italian team Campobasso, she averaged 32 minutes and 19 points, shooting 49.2% from the field, 33.8% beyond the arc and 82.5% from the free-throw line. She signed a training camp contract with the Sky in February.
No. 8: Forward, 6-4
Drafted No. 8 overall in 2019 by the Mercury, Smith spent the first three seasons of her career there. As a member of the Australian national team, she represented her home country in the 2020 Olympics. In the season opener, Smith had 15 points, four rebounds, one assist, two steals and three blocks.
No. 1: Center/Forward, 6-3
After a season in Connecticut, Williams spent six seasons with the Atlanta Dream, where she earned All-Defensive honors in 2020 and was named Most Improved Player in 2016. She joined the Sky after playing with the Washington Mystics in 2022. Williams’ younger brother, Mark, plays for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
No. 10: Guard, 5-8
Williams signed with the Sky after previous stints with the Mercury, Sun (twice) and Dream. The eight-year WNBA veteran made her first All-Star appearance in 2021 with the Dream and was part of the Sun’s Finals runs in 2019 and 2022.
What to know about Wintrust Arena
How to get there
Wintrust Arena — located at 200 E. Cermak Road — has been the Sky’s home since 2018.
Three parking lots are available for fans; Lot A is the closest option with access via the pedestrian bridges. To get a GPS location for Lot A, use “2301 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616″ as your destination. The parking rate is $25 for up to 16 hours.
Not driving? There are the No. 3, No. 21 and No. 4 CTA buses or options on the Green and Red lines. The Metra train from Millennium Station downtown to McCormick Place’s Grand Concourse in the South Building is also an option.
Much like other sports arenas, fans need to have clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches.
Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to, the following:
Purses, bags or containers larger than a small clutch bag (a clutch bag is about the size of a hand with or without a strap)
Coolers (including thermoses)
Luggage of any kind
Catch up on the latest Sky news
‘I want to win. That’s what you go after.’ Chicago Sky begin to find their identity with Kahleah Copper at the helm.
Elizabeth Williams is providing crucial rim protection for a beleaguered Chicago Sky frontcourt by ‘cleaning up the mess’
Dana Evans wants to set the ‘tone’ and ‘standard’ as the Chicago Sky’s primary ballhandler
Kahleah Copper says she’s ‘in the driver’s seat’ for the Chicago Sky after the departures of the team’s core
New-look Chicago Sky roster is eager to disprove preseason WNBA power rankings: ‘They don’t know basketball’
‘When you look good, you play good.’ How Chicago Sky’s Dana Evans is changing the face of women’s basketball.
Ruthy Hebard embraces motherhood with support from Chicago Sky: ‘The most important thing is that she’s Xzavier’s mom first’
Why trading for Marina Mabrey was a ‘no-brainer’ for Chicago Sky: ‘That’s the risk that we’re willing to take’
Despite a revamped Chicago Sky roster, the team’s newcomers share a rich history with each other — on and off the court
Chicago Sky eye WNBA growth with historic Toronto preseason game: ‘More viewers, more money, more expansion’
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