Three Sky players named to Team WNBA roster for All-Star game

First-time WNBA All-Star Kahleah Copper leads the Sky in scoring with 13.9 points per game. | NBAE via Getty ImagesCandace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and first-time All-Star Kahleah Copper will represent the Sky on the Team WNBA All-Star roster. Diamond DeShields had one prediction before the 2021 WNBA All-Stars were announced. “Three is the magic number over here,” DeShields said. “That’s a pretty good prediction.” DeShields was right on the money. Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and first-time All-Star Kahleah Copper will represent the Sky on the Team WNBA All-Star roster. The 12-player team, coached by WNBA legends Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson, will take on USA Basketball Women’s National Team headlined by Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, A’ja Wilson and Sylvia Fowles in Las Vegas on July 14. In the frontcourt for Team WNBA along with Parker will be DeWanna Bonner (Sun), Liz Cambage (Aces), Dearica Hamby (Aces), Brionna Jones (Sun), Jonquel Jones (Sun) and Satou Sabally (Wings). The guards are Betnijah Laney (Liberty), Arike Ogunbowale (Wings), Courtney Williams (Dream) in addition to Copper and Vandersloot. Sky coach and general manager James Wade said he believed five of his players are playing at an All-Star level. In his opinion, DeShields and Allie Quigley deserved All-Star nods in addition to Parker, Vandersloot and Copper. This is Parker’s sixth All-Star nod, Vandersloot’s third and Copper’s first selection. Parker’s broadcast responsibilities for the Tokyo Olympics could potentially interfere with her involvement. All three players are thrilled to represent the WNBA in the 2021 All-Star game, but none more than Copper. The saying “Kahleah Freaking Copper” became a staple within the Sky organization and by fans on social media in her All-Star push. Copper is leading the Sky in scoring averaging 13.9 points per game. Since being traded to the Sky ahead of the 2017 season Copper has grown every year. The biggest jump came from 2019-2020 when she transitioned into a starting role and increased her points per game by over 50%. Aside from her offensive capabilities, Copper has proven to be one of the league’s most disruptive players on defense. The two biggest differences in Copper's game this season has been her commitment to defense and her offensive productivity playing alongside Parker. In the last eight games, the Sky are first in the league in percentage of points scored off the fast break in large part due to both Copper’s defense and Parker’s ability to find her in transition. The team is also first in offensive rating, which is a credit to all three of the Sky’s All-Stars. Parker is the Sky’s second-leading scorer averaging 12.2 points per game which is tied with DeShields and Quigley’s output. Parker was critically important in the Sky’s franchise record-setting seven straight wins. The streak started when Parker made her return to the court June 9 after suffering an ankle injury ahead of the second game of the season. There is arguably no player more influential on the Sky than their floor general, Vandersloot who is leading the Sky and the league in steals per game with two and assists per game with 8.5. The Sky have six players averaging double figures in scoring, including Vandersloot who has 11.7 points per game, which is a testament to the facilitators on this team. The Sky are 9-8 and in fourth place in the overall league standings. “I’m super grateful to be playing with these women,” Copper said. “Everybody brings it every single day. Our coaching staff is amazing. From top to bottom, I think we’re the team.”

Three Sky players named to Team WNBA roster for All-Star game
First-time WNBA All-Star Kahleah Copper leads the Sky in scoring with 13.9 points per game. | NBAE via Getty Images

Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and first-time All-Star Kahleah Copper will represent the Sky on the Team WNBA All-Star roster.

Diamond DeShields had one prediction before the 2021 WNBA All-Stars were announced.

“Three is the magic number over here,” DeShields said. “That’s a pretty good prediction.”

DeShields was right on the money. Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and first-time All-Star Kahleah Copper will represent the Sky on the Team WNBA All-Star roster.

The 12-player team, coached by WNBA legends Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson, will take on USA Basketball Women’s National Team headlined by Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, A’ja Wilson and Sylvia Fowles in Las Vegas on July 14.

In the frontcourt for Team WNBA along with Parker will be DeWanna Bonner (Sun), Liz Cambage (Aces), Dearica Hamby (Aces), Brionna Jones (Sun), Jonquel Jones (Sun) and Satou Sabally (Wings). The guards are Betnijah Laney (Liberty), Arike Ogunbowale (Wings), Courtney Williams (Dream) in addition to Copper and Vandersloot.

Sky coach and general manager James Wade said he believed five of his players are playing at an All-Star level. In his opinion, DeShields and Allie Quigley deserved All-Star nods in addition to Parker, Vandersloot and Copper.

This is Parker’s sixth All-Star nod, Vandersloot’s third and Copper’s first selection. Parker’s broadcast responsibilities for the Tokyo Olympics could potentially interfere with her involvement.

All three players are thrilled to represent the WNBA in the 2021 All-Star game, but none more than Copper. The saying “Kahleah Freaking Copper” became a staple within the Sky organization and by fans on social media in her All-Star push.

Copper is leading the Sky in scoring averaging 13.9 points per game. Since being traded to the Sky ahead of the 2017 season Copper has grown every year. The biggest jump came from 2019-2020 when she transitioned into a starting role and increased her points per game by over 50%. Aside from her offensive capabilities, Copper has proven to be one of the league’s most disruptive players on defense.

The two biggest differences in Copper's game this season has been her commitment to defense and her offensive productivity playing alongside Parker.

In the last eight games, the Sky are first in the league in percentage of points scored off the fast break in large part due to both Copper’s defense and Parker’s ability to find her in transition. The team is also first in offensive rating, which is a credit to all three of the Sky’s All-Stars.

Parker is the Sky’s second-leading scorer averaging 12.2 points per game which is tied with DeShields and Quigley’s output. Parker was critically important in the Sky’s franchise record-setting seven straight wins. The streak started when Parker made her return to the court June 9 after suffering an ankle injury ahead of the second game of the season.

There is arguably no player more influential on the Sky than their floor general, Vandersloot who is leading the Sky and the league in steals per game with two and assists per game with 8.5. The Sky have six players averaging double figures in scoring, including Vandersloot who has 11.7 points per game, which is a testament to the facilitators on this team.

The Sky are 9-8 and in fourth place in the overall league standings.

“I’m super grateful to be playing with these women,” Copper said. “Everybody brings it every single day. Our coaching staff is amazing. From top to bottom, I think we’re the team.”