The Chicago Sky lift the banner honoring their 2021 title. (Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images).

The Chicago Sky raised their championship banner and received their rings Tuesday night at Wintrust Arena in commemoration of their 2021 WNBA title – the franchise’s first.

Hanging over the celebration, though, was grief over the school shooting that occurred earlier that day in Texas, in which 19 children and two adults were killed. WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert addressed the violence at the pregame ceremony, and the Sky held a moment of silence before the game.

Chicago coach James Wade addressed the tragedy in a pregame press conference.

“It’s a tough situation. There’s a lot of stuff that’s bigger than basketball. They were two days away from going on vacation, parents were planning on going on trips and, you know,” Wade said, seemingly at a loss for words. “Children are so innocent. And they’re just trying to live life. They don’t deserve to be in situations where you don’t get the chance to see tomorrow.”

Still, Sky players attempted to appreciate their moment as they accepted their championship rings.

“They’re perfect,” said Allie Quigley of the rings. “I want to wear it all the time.

“We all had goosebumps watching the jumbotron and seeing some of the highlights from last year. It’s very special, we know that it’s a very rare thing to be able to experience.”