Candace Parker has returned to the reigning WNBA champion Chicago Sky, joining her team in training camp Monday.
The WNBA veteran arrived two weeks after the start of camp because she was recovering from COVID-19, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Parker said she contracted COVID-19 while working one of her offseason jobs, which include serving as a studio analyst for Turner Sports.
📣CANDACE IS BACK. WE REPEAT, CANDACE IS BACK. THIS IS NOT A DRILL📣 pic.twitter.com/5WTqMt0lOx— Chicago Sky (@chicagosky) May 2, 2022
📣CANDACE IS BACK. WE REPEAT, CANDACE IS BACK. THIS IS NOT A DRILL📣 pic.twitter.com/5WTqMt0lOx
Parker and the Sky aim to stay as healthy as they can throughout the season, mindful of their veteran roster.
‘‘We are seasoned, and we’re embracing that,’’ Parker told the Chicago Sun-Times while laughing with teammates Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley. ‘‘The healthiest team at the end of the year wins if they can stay together and do what they need to do. We realize that, but we can’t take our foot off the gas, either.’’
The squad welcomes back Vandersloot, Quigley and Parker as the team’s core. WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper also will return to the team after finishing her European season with Spanish club Avenida in mid-May.
Yet despite those marquee names, the Sky will have a different makeup than during their 2021 title season. Stefanie Dolson and Diamond DeShields departed Chicago for other teams in the offseason.
Chicago will kick off its title defense Friday with its regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Sparks at Wintrust Arena.
“Every year you have to reinvent yourself, reinvent what you do and prove what you do,‘’ Parker told the Sun-Times.