Sky to battle Parker, Sparks at Sears Centre

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The WNBA Sky will take on the Los Angeles Sparks in a pre-season game May 8 at the Sears Centre Arena in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates. The game will feature the league’s top two rookies, Candace Parker of the Sparks and Sylvia Fowles of the Sky.

Parker was the number one pick in last week’s WNBADraft by the Sparks while the Sky chose Fowles, the former LSU star with the second pick of the draft. Both Fowles and Parker are All-American players and the only two female college players to dunk in a regular season game this year. Fowles will be joined by fellow LSU teammate Quianna Chaney, who was also chosen by the Sky in the draft. Fowles is thrilled to have her former LSU teammate with her with the Sky.

”I was doing an interview with somebody from Chicago and I heard that Q got picked and was coming to Chicago. I almost fell out of my seat,” Fowles said with a laugh. ”Me and Q have been roommates my whole four years of college, so we’re close. Just to have her here with me will make things easier.”

In 2008, Fowles was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s National Defensive Player of the Year, SEC Player of the Year, and earned a spot on the 2008 AP All-America Team. She led LSU to four straight Final Four appearances while earning a spot on the All-SEC First Team her final three years.

Fowles is a perfect fit for the Sky, said new Sky head coach and general manager Steve Key, who hopes Fowles’ inside presence will take pressure off two-time All-Star forward Candice Dupree. ”That’s the one thing that we were missing, that interior presence, that length, somebody to shore up the defensive effort and help Candice out,” Key said.

”I think it will give us a whole lot of different scenarios that we can use.” Looking to add a shooter to complement Fowles, the Sky selected Chaney in the second round. Chaney made the All-SEC first team in 2008 after averaging 14.9 points and shooting 38.9 percent on 3-pointers. ”We figured that adding Sylvia, we need some more shooting,” said Key.

”For us, it was a logical pick and a needed pick.” With Fowles joining Dupree and reigning Rookie of the Year Armintie Price in Chicago, Key sees a bright future for the Sky. ”We’re really happy with the personnel that we have,” Key said. ”We’re starting to develop a core and that’s the most important thing for us as we go forward.” The Sky open the 2008 regular season at Seattle. The home opener at the UIC Pavilion is May 22 against the Sacramento Monarchs,

______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.  

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