Basketball legend Candace Parker joins Kelley O’Hara to talk about her Hall of Fame career and the wisdom she’s accrued playing ball around the world.

Candace discusses her late introduction to basketball and the impact of seeing her older brother get drafted to the NBA. She shares the backstory behind how she willed herself to dunk at the age of 14, much to her father’s disbelief, and what it was like to throw it down in a high school game. Candace explains what led her to attend the University of Tennessee and why Pat Summitt was such a powerful and beloved influence on both her life and many others.

Despite its notoriety as a difficult league for rookies to crack, Candace won both Rookie of the Year and League MVP during her first season in the WNBA after being selected by the Los Angeles Sparks with the No. 1 draft pick. Candace talks to Kelley about what allowed her to have such a successful transition and how she handled the pressure that came with signing some of the biggest sponsorship deals in the sport.

Candace also discusses how having a daughter changed her approach to her career, and what it’s been like to take Lailaa abroad with her during her career. She also speaks candidly about her controversial exclusion from the 2016 US Olympic team, and what it meant to later win a WNBA title that year in a season dedicated to the late Coach Summitt.

Candace’s Resume:
  • WNBA Champion (2016)
  • WNBA Finals MVP (2016)
  • 2x Olympic gold medalist (2008, 2012)
  • 2x WNBA MVP
  • 5x WNBA All-Star
  • 5x All-WNBA First Team
  • WNBA Rookie of the Year (2008)
  • 5x Russian National League champion (2011-2015)
  • EuroLeague Champion (2013)
  • 2x NCAA Champion (2007, 2008)
  • AP Female Athlete of the Year (2008)
  • Naismith College Player of the Year (2008)
  • 2x John R. Wooden Award (2007, 2008)
  • Wade Trophy (2007)
  • 2x Honda Sports Award for basketball (2007, 2008)
  • Candace Parker has a life for plan after basketball (Uninterrupted)
  • 57 minutes with Candace Parker (The Ringer)
  • Candace Parker NBA Twitter Q&A (WNBA)
  • Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker calls league a leading voice in social justice (Reuters)