How Candace Parker made history in the WNBA

Candace Parker is on track to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time. In 2008, Parker was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks as the first overall pick in the WNBA draft that year, according to USA Today. In her first season with the team, she made history as the first WNBA player to be named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same year.

The only NBA stars to have achieved such a goal were Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld. “I think it’s just as important for guys and girls to understand that leaders can come in different shapes, sizes, backgrounds or whatever,” Parker said in an interview with Refinery29. “I think it’s just a matter of taking a step forward and getting people to understand that when I’m on the show, I’m not trying to be one of the guys,” she added. “I’m trying to be one of the players.”

As the WNBA star continues to crush it on and off the court, Parker has managed to make history once again.

Candace Parker scored a major career win in her hometown

All is well for Candace Parker as she is the first WNBA player to surpass 6,000 career points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,500 assists, according to CNN. The WNBA player, who spent 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks before joining the Chicago Sky team in 2021, led her team to a tremendous win over the Connecticut Sun. In that game alone, Parker had 11 rebounds, seven assists, scored 25 points, and successfully blocked her opponents four times, according to USA Today.

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“It had something to do with going where you started playing the game,” Parker said during a 2021 interview with The Detroit News. “Winning at home, I’m just now realizing that a little bit. How special this really is,” she added. Parker, who also happens to be a Chicago native, was responsible for helping her team, Chicago Sky, win their first WNBA title in franchise history in October 2021, according to NPR. “It feels great,” said the WNBA player. “Look at the city man. They all showed up.”

And that’s not all. Parker is officially the oldest player with 10 rebounds and 30 points in a game in WNBA history, according to ESPN. Aside from getting a big win at home, she also had the opportunity to win big for the United States.

Candace Parker is a two-time Olympic gold medalist

In 2004, Candace Parker wowed the crowds after winning a gold medal for the USA women’s U18 team by averaging 16.6 points in each game, according to Sports Illustrated. Parker also competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics to represent Team USA, leading them to victory over Australia and achieving their first gold medal. She won her second gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Despite being a two-time Olympian and a key factor in Team USA’s victory, Parker was shocked to discover that she had not been selected for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

Despite outperforming other players during Team USA camp, Parker claims coach Geno Auriemma didn’t want her on the team. “I don’t think I fit personally,” she said during an interview with Bleacher Report. “I don’t think Geno wanted me on the team.” The basketball player also believes she was judged more as an individual than on her performance. “I think it’s one of those things where it’s like, ‘Cool, just tell me and then don’t beat about the bush,'” she added.

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Regardless of who tries to snub Parker throughout her career, one thing can’t be taken away from her: she’s a legend who continues to make history in her profession.