Chicago, Illinois, home to the reigning WNBA Champions, hosted the league’s All-star game this weekend and also now holds one more record.
Sky-high sharpshooter Allie Quigley now has four three-point shootout contests under her drawstring. That’s a WNBA and NBA milestone. More than any man or woman.
What a way to retire from the competition as teammate and spouse, All-star Courtney Vandersloot jumped for joy courtside. Chi-town’s own Candace Parker videoing it all on her phone for posterity. Posted up in a throwback Quigley DePaul jersey.
Roll out the orange carpet.
The game has changed a lot over 25 years and change. Especially this annual celebration of the best talents taking theirs to the Windy City. Just check the four point circles where the players can hone their shot and showcase their skill. Speaking of such, this year’s Skill Challenge was won by New York Liberty superstar Sabrina Ionescu.
Sabrina made history herself before the All-star break. Posting the league first ever 30-piece triple-double. Just a week after the All-star Nneka Ogwumike led Los Angeles Sparks became the first team in the WNBA to reach 500 wins.
Ionescu carries the torch for the next generation like the Statue of Liberty, and this game felt like the handing over of one. GOAT Sue Bird and the best defensive WNBA player of all-time Sylvia Fowles played their last ASG’s.
Fowles getting her flowers off A’ja Wilson who got down on one knee. Sue, of course, off other team captain Breanna Stewart. Fowles, opened the game with a three-ball and caught a hammer dunk that had everyone out of their seat in standing ovation.
Wilson, leading with the ball that bears her name, just might be the league’s MVP this season. Her closest rival is her own Las Vegas Aces (truly my favourite to win it all this year) teammate Kelsey Plum. Her Maya Moore record-tying 30 points and line of lay-ups in a game played downtown in more ways than one, gave her the honor of being the game’s Most Valuable Player. Although Jonquel Jones’ 29 and 21 from Jewell Loyd came close.
The final score of the 2022 WNBA All-star game read, Team Wilson 134, team Stewart 112 like the club and group in Atlanta. But the most meaningful moment of the night and weekend came at the half.
In 1997 the MLB permanently retired the number 42 across all teams in honor of the first African-American player to break the color barrier. The legendary, late Jackie Robinson.
Coincidentally the same year that the first WNBA game was played for an association that just celebrated its quarter-century anniversary.
But come the second half it was nothing but 42’s in honor of Phoenix Mercury superstar Brittney Griner who is still detained in Russia. Name and number.
It was a beautiful moment of solidarity and a call to the powers that be to bring her home.
It has been 143 days, and the 144 just isn’t the same without her.
We are STILL BG!