April 27, 2023 

Chicago Sky’s Ruthy Hebard announces birth of first son

What it means for Hebard and the Sky this season

In a partnership with TOGETHXR, Chicago Sky big Ruthy Hebard announced she recently had her first child and will be releasing a short film detailing her experience as a new mom. And her ambition to get back on the floor as soon as possible. Hebard, who is 24 years old, welcomed a boy into the world. The film is set to be released on April 30.

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The Sky selected Hebard with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 WNBA draft. In 76 career games, she has averaged 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds while averaging 13.9 minutes per game since coming to Chicago.

While her current status for this upcoming season is unknown, here are a few takeaways from the news around the former Sky first-round pick.

What it means for the Sky

Chicago’s frontcourt depth just became thinner with the possibility of Hebard not being on the floor to start the season. The team recently suspended Astou Ndour’s-Fall contract after the Chicago Sun-Times reported the Sky big would not be suiting up in the WNBA this year due to overlap with her international commitments. Sky coach/general manager James Wade also told The Next in February that Li Yueru wants to return to the WNBA, but her situation with coming back to Chicago in 2023 is “fluid.”

Outside of Hebard, Yueru and Ndour-Fall, that leaves Elizabeth Williams, Isabelle Harrison and Alanna Smith as the only traditional bigs on the Sky’s roster. The Sky also signed former Dallas Wings 6’3 forward Morgan Bertsch to a training camp deal on April 18.

While Hebard’s salary for this season is guaranteed ($83,194 in 2023), Chicago is equipped with $143,968 in cap room, per Her Hoop Stats. The Sky are positioned to wait out the harsh reality other WNBA teams face in cutting players they would like to retain but can’t due to the league’s hard salary cap. The Indiana Fever, for example, recently released last year’s No. 4 overall pick in Emily Engstler.

Wade, who is coming off a season where he won Executive of the Year, has proven he can find talent all around the world if needed. With Hebard’s status unknown after having a child, Wade could be looking to add more size in the frontcourt ahead of the regular season.

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What it means for Hebard

Hebard has shown flashes of being a productive player in the WNBA since being drafted out of Oregon. She was touted for her high efficiency coming out of college, where she set an NCAA record by making 33 straight field goal attempts. As a rookie in the WNBA, she led the league in two-point field goal percentage in 2020 while playing 14.6 MPG.

However, the additions of Candace Parker and Emma Meesseman, along with Azurá Stevens getting back to full strength, left scant playing time for Hebard to develop on the floor over the last two seasons. Their departures would pave the way for Hebard to get more minutes depending on when she can return to the floor.

2023 is set to be an important season for Hebard, who is a restricted free agent after this year, according to Her Hoop Stats. Getting the time to grow as a young player while attempting to stay on a WNBA roster has proven to be challenging as teams increasingly have taken on top-heavy salary cap sheets.

Written by James Kay


  1. Bonnie Scott on April 28, 2023 at 8:56 am

    Congratulations Ruthy. Your son picked a great MOM. BEST WUSHES fir your playing time coming up Go Sky from an Oregon Duck

  2. Sheila Jones on April 28, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    Congratulations welcome to parenting… you will be a great “MOM”!!!!

  3. Leone McGuire on May 1, 2023 at 2:00 am

    Yes, indeed, your new little son did “pick” an awesome Mommy!! Congratulations!! Love and best wishes to you!
    Leone McGuire
    Daisy Ducks goodie bag lady!

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