After recently flirting with retirement, two-time WNBA champion Candace Parker announced the next step of her career, saying she will sign with the Las Vegas Aces.
The 36-year-old spent the last two seasons playing for her hometown Chicago Sky, where she captured the second championship of her career in 2021.
Parker said the proximity to her family played a big role in her decision to depart the Midwest and head to Las Vegas.
“After evaluating the landscape together with my family, we’ve decided the Las Vegas Aces are the right organization for us at this point in our lives,” she wrote.
“As I’ve gone through free agency this time around, of course I’m thinking of where I can compete for my third championship, but the words home and family are what I kept coming back to … I need to be there for my daughter, for my son, for my wife,” Parker posted. “I can’t be without them for parts of the season when Lailaa is in school and I won’t miss her volleyball games or school dances simply because of distance. Lailaa starts high school in August and I need to be there for her, just as she’s been there for me,” Parker wrote in an Instagram caption.
Parker and the Sky entered last season’s playoffs as the No. 2 seed but were upset in the semifinal round by the Connecticut Sun.
“Candace has done so much for our franchise in her time here. I understand her reasons for wanting to be closer with her immediate family,” Sky coach and general manager James Wade said in a statement. “We wish her nothing but the best. She will always be a part of the Sky family. We will celebrate her time here as she deserves.”
The Las Vegas Aces won the 2022 WNBA title, and Parker joins a star-studded roster that features A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray.
Parker has had one of the most accomplished careers in women’s basketball history. She won two championships with the Tennessee Lady Volunteers and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 WNBA draft.
She is a seven-time All-Star and has been named to 10 All-WNBA teams. She is the first player to win an MVP award as a rookie.
Under league rules, Parker and other free agents must wait until Feb. 1 to officially sign contracts.
Earlier this week, the Aces traded two-time All-Star Dearica Hamby to the Los Angeles Sparks.
Hamby criticized her former team, claiming the organization was “unprofessional” and “unethical” toward her following the announcement of her second pregnancy in September.
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