Chicago Sky
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Chicago Sky
Chicago Sky
Chicago Sky logo
FoundedFebruary 8, 2005; 15 years ago (2005-02-08)[1]
HistoryChicago Sky
ArenaWintrust Arena[2][3]
LocationChicago, Illinois
Team colorsSky blue, radiant yellow, black, white[4][5][6]
General managerJames Wade
Head coachJames Wade
Assistant(s)Olaf Lange
Emre Vatansever
OwnershipMichael J. Alter
Margaret Stender, Michelle Williams, Mathew Knowles
1 (2014)

The Chicago Sky are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, playing in the Eastern Conference of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The franchise was founded before the 2006 WNBA season began. It is owned by Michael J. Alter (principal owner) and Margaret Stender (minority owner). The team experienced a period of success from 2013 to 2016, making four playoff appearances and playing in the 2014 WNBA Finals.

Unlike many other WNBA teams, the Sky is not affiliated with a National Basketball Association (NBA) counterpart, although the Chicago Bulls play in the same market.

Franchise history

Franchise origin

In February 2005, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that Chicago had been awarded a new WNBA franchise. The franchise was temporarily named WNBA Chicago. On May 27, 2005, former NBA player and coach Dave Cowens was announced as the team's first head coach and general manager. The team home would be the UIC Pavilion. The team name and logo formally debuted on September 20, 2005, at the Adler Planetarium. Team President and CEO Margaret Stender claimed the team colors of yellow and blue represent "[a] beautiful day in Chicago between the blue sky and bright sunlight to highlight the spectacular skyline." The team's introduction in Chicago was highlighted by the appearance of several star players, including former Rookies of the Year Diana Taurasi, Temeka Johnson, and Sue Bird and 2003 WNBA Champion Ruth Riley.[]

In November 2005, the team held an expansion draft to help build its roster of players. Among the notable selections were Brooke Wyckoff from the Connecticut Sun, Bernadette Ngoyisa from the San Antonio Silver Stars, Elaine Powell from the Detroit Shock and Stacey Dales (who had retired prior to the 2005 season) from the Washington Mystics.

On February 28, 2006, the team announced that two of the minority shareholders of the team are Michelle Williams, from the vocal group Destiny's Child, and Mathew Knowles, father of Destiny's Child lead singer Beyoncé Knowles.

Reaching for the Sky (2006-2008)

In their first season, the Sky achieved a 5-29 record and finished last in the Eastern Conference. After the season, Dave Cowens resigned from the Sky to join the coaching staff of the Detroit Pistons. University of Missouri-Kansas City women's head basketball coach Bo Overton was named the Sky's new head coach and general manager on December 12, 2006.

Sylvia Fowles

The Sky recorded a league-worst 5-29 record in 2006. Despite having the highest odds of drawing the first pick in the 2007 WNBA draft lottery, the Sky ended up with the third overall pick, which they used to select Armintie Price. They would get the first pick in the dispersal draft of the Charlotte Sting, which they used to select Monique Currie.

The 2007 Sky would field a vastly improved team. The core group of players from 2006 along with some new additions helped make the team competitive. However, the team finished with a 14-20 record, two games behind the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Guard Armintie Price was named the 2007 WNBA Rookie of the Year after the season. On March 12, 2008, the Sky announced that head coach Bo Overton resigned his position of coach/general manager. Assistant coach Steven Key was named head coach/general manager.

With the second overall pick of the 2008 WNBA Draft, the Sky selected Sylvia Fowles. In the 2008 season, the Sky would once again fail to make the playoffs, posting a 12-22 record, finishing 5th in the East. Fowles was injured for most of the season (she was, however, selected to play on the winning U.S. team at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where she average 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game).

Sky's the Limit (2009-2013)

In the 2009 WNBA Draft, the Sky selected point guard Kristi Toliver with the third overall pick. Toliver had recently won the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship with the University of Maryland, where she had shot a game-tying three-point basket to send the game into overtime. In the 2009 season, the Sky contended for a playoff position throughout the season, but finished with a record of 16-18 and lost a three-team tiebreaker to the Washington Mystics for the final playoff position.

2011 home uniform, manufactured by Adidas

Entering the 2010 season, the Sky moved to Allstate Arena in the suburb of Rosemont, Illinois. The team's roster underwent several changes, highlighted by the trading away of Candice Dupree and Kristi Toliver and the acquisition of Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld. At one point during the season, they were at .500, just a few games back for the final playoff spot. However, the Sky ended up losing eight of their final ten games, eliminating them from playoff contention for the fifth consecutive season. They finished 14-20, sixth in the Eastern Conference. Key resigned as GM and coach, and was on October 28, 2010, by former LSU head coach Pokey Chatman as general manager/head coach.[7]

In 2011, the Sky were led again by Fowles, who averaged a "double-double" 20 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. The Sky finished the season at 14-20 but were encouraged by going 10-7 at home.[8]

The Sky selected Shey Peddy with the 23rd pick and Sydney Carter with the 27th pick in the 2012 WNBA draft. Peddy and Carter were both eventually waived on May 14, 2012.[9] The Sky began the 2012 season 7-1, but finished 14-20 for the second consecutive season.[10] The Sky remained the only WNBA franchise to never make the playoffs.

Playoff runs (2013-2016)

The 2013 WNBA season was a turning point for the Sky. They selected Elena Delle Donne with the second overall pick, as well as Brooklyn Pope, in the 2013 WNBA draft. Delle Donne became the first rookie to lead All-Star voting, averaging 18.1 points per game (fourth in the league) and leading the Sky to a 24-10 regular season record, finishing first in the Eastern Conference. Delle Donne, Fowles, and teammate Swin Cash received multiple honors (Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Peak Performer in Rebounds, and the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, respectively). Chatman finished a close second for Coach of the Year. Delle Donne narrowly missed the MVP award, while Fowles and Delle Donne were named to the All-WNBA first and second teams, respectively. Reaching the playoffs for the first time, the Sky lost in the conference semifinals to the Indiana Fever.

Although the team's 2014 season record would be an unimpressive 15-19, the Sky qualified for the WNBA playoffs again and eliminated Atlanta and Indiana in the first two rounds, making it to the WNBA Finals for the first time. They were swept by the Phoenix Mercury in the finals series.

In February 2015, the Sky acquired Chicago native Cappie Pondexter from the New York Liberty in a straight-up trade for Epiphanny Prince. They finished 2nd in the Eastern Conference at the end of the 2015 season, but lost to the Indiana Fever in the conference semifinals. In the 2016 season, under the WNBA's new playoff format where teams were seeded regardless of conference, the Sky finished 4th in the league and returned to the playoffs, but lost 3-1 in the semifinals to the Los Angeles Sparks. The 2016 season was also the first of three consecutive seasons in which Courtney Vandersloot set a new WNBA record for assists per game.

Rebuilding (2017-2018)

The Sky hired Amber Stocks as head coach and general manager on December 6, 2016. During the 2016-17 offseason, in what was called one of the biggest trades in league history, the Sky traded Delle Donne to the Washington Mystics, receiving Kahleah Copper, Stefanie Dolson, and the Mystics' #2 overall pick in the 2017 WNBA draft.[11] The Sky then missed the playoffs for the first time in five years in the 2017 season, posting a 12-22 record. In the ensuing 2018 WNBA draft, they selected Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams in the first round. The Sky missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season in the 2018 season. On August 31, 2018, the Sky relieved Stocks as head coach and general manager.[12]

Return to the playoffs (2019-present)

In November 2018, the Sky hired James Wade as the team's new head coach and general manager. In the 2019 WNBA draft, the Sky drafted Katie Lou Samuelson, Chloe Jackson, and María Conde. Prior to the season, they signed Kayla Alexander and traded away Alaina Coates. The 2019 season would be a turnaround for the Sky, and they finished with a 20-14 record and entered the playoffs as a fifth seed. Wade received the WNBA Coach of the Year Award for the regular season, and Courtney Vandersloot exceeded her own assists-per-game record for the second straight season. Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, and Diamond DeShields were all named All-Stars, and DeShields won the All-Star Game Skills Challenge. In the playoffs, defeated the Phoenix Mercury in the first round, but then lost to the Las Vegas Aces on the road on a buzzer-beater in the final seconds.

Name, logo, and uniforms


  • 2006-2010: At home, white with light blue on the sides. Collar is light blue. On the road, light blue with gold on the sides. Collar is gold.
  • 2011-2012: At home, white with light blue stripes on the sides. Collar is light blue. On the road, light blue with gold stripes on the sides. Collar is gold. In addition, both the home and away uniforms feature the team nickname and numbers in gold.
  • 2013-2014: A new number and name font was introduced, while the basic uniform design was retained.
  • 2015: Magellan Corporation introduced as new Jersey sponsor. Unlike most teams with jersey sponsors, the Sky opted to emblazon the Magellan logo on the left shoulder in place of the team's alternate logo.
  • 2016: As part of a league-wide initiative, all games featured all-color uniform matchups. Therefore, the Sky unveiled a gold uniform in addition to their regular light blue road uniform. Magellan was retained as the uniform sponsor.
  • 2018: Magellan was joined by University of Chicago Medicine as jersey sponsors.[13][2]

Season-by-season records

WNBA champions Conference champions Playoff berth
Season Team Conference standing (2006-16)

League standing (2016-present)

Regular season Playoff Results Awards Head coach
Chicago Sky
2006 2006 East 7th 5 29 .147 Dave Cowens
2007 2007 East 6th 14 20 .412 Bo Overton
2008 2008 East 5th 12 22 .353 Steven Key
2009 2009 East 5th 16 18 .471
2010 2010 East 6th 14 20 .412
2011 2011 East 5th 14 20 .412 Sylvia Fowles (DPOY) Pokey Chatman
2012 2012 East 5th 14 20 .412
2013 2013 East 1st 24 10 .706 Lost Conference Semifinals (Indiana, 0-2) Elena Delle Donne (ROY)
Sylvia Fowles (DPOY, RPP)
Swin Cash (SPOR)
2014 2014 East 4th 15 19 .441 Won Conference Semifinals (Atlanta, 2-1)
Won Conference Finals (Indiana, 2-1)
Lost WNBA Finals (Phoenix, 0-3)
Allie Quigley (SIX)
2015 2015 East 2nd 21 13 .618 Lost Conference Semifinals (Indiana, 1-2) Elena Delle Donne (MVP, SPP)
Allie Quigley (SIX)
Courtney Vandersloot (APP)
2016 2016 WNBA[note 1] 4th 18 16 .529 Won Second Round (Atlanta, 1-0)
Lost WNBA Semifinals (Los Angeles, 1-3)
2017 2017 WNBA 9th 12 22 .353 Courtney Vandersloot (APP) Amber Stocks
2018 2018 WNBA 10th 13 21 .382 Courtney Vandersloot (APP)
2019 2019 WNBA 5th 20 14 .588 Won First Round (Phoenix, 1-0)
Lost Second Round (Las Vegas, 0-1)
James Wade (COY)
Courtney Vandersloot (APP)
James Wade
2020 2020 WNBA 6th 12 10 .545 Lost First Round (Connecticut, 0-1) Courtney Vandersloot (APP)
Regular season 224 274 .450 1 Conference Championships
Playoffs 8 14 .364 0 WNBA Championships


Current roster

Former players

Coaches and staff


Head coaches

General managers

Assistant coaches


Media coverage

Currently, some Sky games are broadcast locally on The U Too. Select games are broadcast nationally on ESPN or NBA TV. Broadcasters for the Sky games are Lisa Byington and Stephen Bardo.

The Sky was on radio for two seasons on WVON-AM 1690 with Les Grobstein on play-by-play and Tajua Catchings (whose sister Tamika Catchings is a star with the Indiana Fever) handling color. After 2008, WVON did not carry games any longer over a financial disagreement, and the Sky has not been on radio since.Their Home game only were carried on line during the 2008 season,but no Radio type play by play has been on since.

All games (excluding blackout games, which are available on are broadcast to the WNBA LiveAccess game feeds on the league website. Furthermore, some Sky games are broadcast nationally on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The WNBA has reached an eight-year agreement with ESPN, which will pay right fees to the Sky, as well as other teams in the league.[14]

All-time notes

Regular season attendance

  • A sellout for a basketball game at UIC Pavilion (2006-2009) is 6,972.
  • A sellout for a basketball game at Allstate Arena (2010-2017) is 17,500.
  • A sellout for a basketball game at Wintrust Arena (2018-present) is 10,387.

Draft picks

  • 2006 Expansion Draft: Jia Perkins, Brooke Wyckoff, Elaine Powell, Kiesha Brown, Deanna Jackson, Laura Macchi, Stacey Lovelace, DeTrina White, Ashley Robinson, Chelsea Newton, Bernadette Ngoyisa, Francesca Zara, Stacey Dales
  • 2006: Candice Dupree (6), Jennifer Harris (20), Kerri Gardin (34)
  • 2007 Charlotte Dispersal Draft: Monique Currie (1)
  • 2007: Armintie Price (3), Carla Thomas (10), Stephanie Raymond (20), Jessica Dickson (21), Jenna Rubino (27)
  • 2008: Sylvia Fowles (2), Quianna Chaney (19), Angela Tisdale (33)
  • 2009 Houston Dispersal Draft: Mistie Williams Bass (3)
  • 2009: Kristi Toliver (3), Danielle Gant (16), Jennifer Risper (29)
  • 2010 Sacramento Dispersal Draft: Courtney Paris (4)
  • 2010: Epiphanny Prince (4), Abi Olajuwon (28)
  • 2011: Courtney Vandersloot (3), Carolyn Swords (15), Angie Bjorklund (17), Amy Jaeschke (27)
  • 2012: Shey Peddy (23), Sydney Carter (27)
  • 2013: Elena Delle Donne (2), Brooklyn Pope (28)
  • 2014: Markeisha Gatling (10), Gennifer Brandon (22), Jamierra Faulkner (34)
  • 2015: Cheyenne Parker (5), Betnijah Laney (17), Aleighsa Welch (22)
  • 2016: Imani Boyette (10), Jordan Jones (34)
  • 2017: Alaina Coates (2), Tori Jankoska (9), Chantel Osahor (21), Makayla Epps (33)
  • 2018: Diamond DeShields (3), Gabby Williams (4), Amarah Coleman (28)
  • 2019: Katie Lou Samuelson (4), Chloe Jackson (15), María Conde (27)
  • 2020: Ruthy Hebard (8), Japreece Dean (30), Kiah Gillespie (32)


  • June 29, 2006: The Sky traded Ashley Robinson to the Seattle Storm in exchange for Cisti Greenwalt and a second-round pick in the 2007 Draft.
  • March 23, 2007: The Sky traded Chelsea Newton and the 21st pick in the 2007 Draft to the Sacramento Monarchs for the 10th pick in the 2007 Draft.
  • May 24, 2007: The Sky traded Monique Currie to the Washington Mystics in exchange for Chasity Melvin.
  • August 12, 2009: The Sky traded Armintie Price to the Atlanta Dream in exchange for Tamera Young.
  • March 30, 2010: The Sky traded Candice Dupree to the Phoenix Mercury and a second-round pick in the 2010 Draft to the New York Liberty in exchange for Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld from New York. New York also received Cappie Pondexter and Kelly Mazzante from Phoenix.
  • May 13, 2010: The Sky traded Kristi Toliver to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2011 Draft.
  • April 20, 2011: The Sky traded Jia Perkins to the San Antonio Silver Stars in exchange for Michelle Snow.
  • June 1, 2011: The Sky traded a second-round pick in the 2012 Draft to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton.
  • January 2, 2012: The Sky traded the second pick in the 2012 Draft to the Seattle Storm in exchange for Swin Cash, Le'coe Willingham, and the 23rd pick in the 2012 Draft.
  • March 14, 2012: The Sky traded a third-round pick in the 2013 Draft to the San Antonio Silver Stars in exchange for Sonja Petrovic.
  • May 7, 2014: The Sky traded Swin Cash to the Atlanta Dream in exchange for Courtney Clements.
  • February 16, 2015: The Sky traded Epiphanny Prince to the New York Liberty in exchange for Cappie Pondexter.
  • July 27, 2015: The Sky traded Sylvia Fowles and a second-round pick in the 2016 Draft to the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for Erika de Souza from Atlanta. Atlanta also received Damaris Dantas, Reshanda Gray, and a first-round pick in the 2016 Draft from Minnesota.
  • February 2, 2017: The Sky traded Elena Delle Donne to the Washington Mystics in exchange for Kahleah Copper, Stefanie Dolson, and the #2 overall pick in the 2017 Draft.
  • February 27, 2017: The Sky traded Clarissa Dos Santos to the San Antonio Stars in exchange for Astou Ndour.
  • May 20, 2019: The Sky traded their second round pick in the 2020 Draft to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for Jantel Lavender.
  • May 21, 2019: The Sky traded Alaina Coates to Minnesota in exchange for Minnesota's third round pick in the 2020 Draft.
  • February 12, 2020: The Sky traded Astou Ndour to Dallas in exchange for Dallas' first round pick in the 2021 Draft.
  • February 12, 2020: The Sky traded Kaite Lou Samuelson and a first round pick in the 2021 Draft in exchange for Azurá Stevens.


  • 2006: Candice Dupree
  • 2007: Candice Dupree
  • 2008: No All-Star Game
  • 2009: Candice Dupree, Sylvia Fowles, Jia Perkins
  • 2010: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2011: Sylvia Fowles, Epiphanny Prince, Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2012: No All-Star Game
  • 2013: Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles, Epiphany Prince
  • 2014: Jessica Breland, Elena Delle Donne
  • 2015: Elena Delle Donne, Cappie Pondexter ·
  • 2016: No All-Star Game
  • 2017: Stefanie Dolson, Allie Quigley
  • 2018: Allie Quigley
  • 2019: Diamond DeShields, Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2020: No All-Star Game


  • 2008: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2012: Swin Cash, Sylvia Fowles
  • 2016: Elena Delle Donne, Erika de Souza (BRA), Clarissa Dos Santos (BRA)

Honors and awards

  • 2006 All-Rookie Team: Candice Dupree
  • 2007 All-Rookie Team: Armintie Price
  • 2008 All-Defensive Second Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2008 All-Rookie Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2010 All-WNBA First Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2010 All-Defensive First Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2010 All-Rookie Team: Epiphanny Prince
  • 2010 Stars at the Sun Game MVP: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2011 All-WNBA Second Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2011 Defensive Player of the Year: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2011 All-Defensive First Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2011 All-Rookie Team: Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2012 All-WNBA Second Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2012 All-Defensive First Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2013 Rookie of the Year: Elena Delle Donne
  • 2013 Defensive Player of the Year: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2013 All-Rookie Team: Elena Delle Donne
  • 2013 All-Defensive First Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2013 Peak Performer (Rebounding): Sylvia Fowles
  • 2014 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year: Allie Quigley
  • 2014 All-Defensive Second Team: Sylvia Fowles
  • 2015 WNBA MVP: Elena Delle Donne
  • 2015 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year: Allie Quigley
  • 2015 Peak Performer (Scoring): Elena Delle Donne
  • 2015 Peak Performer (Assists): Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2015 All-WNBA First Team: Elena Delle Donne
  • 2015 All-WNBA Second Team: Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2016 All-Rookie Team: Imani Boyette
  • 2017 Peak Performer (Assists): Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2018 All-WNBA Second Team: Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2018 All-Rookie Team: Diamond DeShields
  • 2018 Peak Performer (Assists): Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2019 Peak Performer (Assists): Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2019 Coach of the Year: James Wade
  • 2019 All-WNBA First Team: Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2019 All-WNBA Second Team: Diamond DeShields
  • 2020 Peak Performer (Assists): Courtney Vandersloot
  • 2020 All-WNBA First Team: Courtney Vandersloot



  1. ^ In the 2016 season, the WNBA changed its playoff format such that teams were seeded for the playoffs regardless of conference.


  1. ^ "Sky Timeline". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Mayor Emanuel Joins Chicago Sky to Announce Team's Move to Wintrust Arena". (Press release). NBA Media Ventures, LLC. February 2, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Ecker, Danny (October 22, 2017). "Chicago Sky moving to new McCormick Place arena". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ "Chicago Sky Unveil New Logo". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. November 7, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Sky Logistics" (PDF). 2017 Chicago Sky Media Guide. WNBA Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ "Chicago Sky Reproduction Guideline Sheet". WNBA Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ "Sky hire controversial coach". 2010-10-29. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "SKY: Sky History - 2011". Retrieved .
  9. ^ "SKY: Chicago Sky Waive Shey Peddy and Sydney Carter in 2012". Retrieved .
  10. ^ "SKY: Sky Schedule 2013". Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Chicago trades Elena Delle Donne for No. 2 overall pick, 2 players". February 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "Chicago Sky Announce Change in Coaching Staff". August 31, 2018.
  13. ^ "Chicago Sky Unveil New Nike Uniform for 2018 Season". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. April 26, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "WNBA Extends TV Rights Deal with ESPN and ABC". Sports Business. June 18, 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-11-10. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "WNBA Announces Plan To Tip Off 2020 Season". WNBA. 2020-06-15. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "WNBA announces plans for 2020 season to start late July in Florida". NBC Sports Washington. 2020-06-15. Retrieved .


External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Atlanta Dream
WNBA Eastern Conference Champions
2014 (First title)
Succeeded by
Indiana Fever

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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