July 3, 2021
James Wade named June Coach of the Month
Seven-game winning streak, 8-4 June record seals the deal for Chicago Sky coach
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“(You’re the) best daddy in the world and the best coach in the world.” – James ‘Jet’ Wade III
Chicago Sky coach and general manager James Wade was beaming from ear-to-ear, gazing at the smartphone-framed face of his young son, James ‘Jet’ Wade III, after he’d learned he’d been named the WNBA Coach of the Month for June. The announcement came while playing an away series with the Dallas Wings.
Wade had previously been the WNBA’s Coach of the Year in 2019, his first year with the Sky.
It was a much-deserved honor for the coach, now in his third season, who led the Sky to an 8-4 record for the month and a10-8 overall record. They went 5-3 on the road and 3-1 at Wintrust Arena in June.
The Sky distinguished themselves in every way possible:
Led the WNBA in points scored (1,004)
Led goals made (367) and assists (260)
League-best in steals (100)
Second in the league in free throws made (181), rebounds (424) and blocks (49).
From June 9 to June 24, the Sky went on an historic, franchise-best seven-game winning streak, highlighted by a season-high 105-point outburst against the Minnesota Lynx on June 15. They also scored four wins in games that qualified for the Commissioner’s Cup standings.
Wade’s accomplishment was all the more remarkable after powering through a seven-game losing streak in May, in part due to injuries suffered by team leaders Candace Parker and Allie Quigley, and Olympic qualifying commitments from Stefanie Dolson and Astou Ndour-Falls.
“I thought l was letting you guys down (because of the losses),” Wade said after Courtney Vandersloot’s announcement.
After hugs from Vandersloot and her wife, Allie Quigley, Wade looked around the room. “This means a lot,” he said. “l know what greatness looks like. And I’m looking at it.”
Wade’s commitment to developing young talents like Ruthy Hebard and Diamond DeShields has been crucial to this year’s success. At the time of his hiring in 2019, Sky owner John Rogers said, “It was crucial to find someone who has the ability to develop young talent and understood what it takes to build a winning culture.”
James has championship-level experience and a unique, natural ability to communicate and bring people together, which will undoubtedly translate into success both on and off the court.”
When asked how he celebrated his honor, Wade told reporters he was “watching tape.”
After splitting the series in Dallas this week, the Sky (10-9) have a few days of rest before hosting the Washington Mystics at Wintrust Arena on Saturday, July 10. The eight-day layoff is the longest Chicago has had since a nine-day layoff between July 21, 2019 (vs. Indiana) and July 30, 2019 (at Connecticut).
The WNBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas on July 14, with Candace Parker, Kahleah Copper and Courtney Vandersloot participating.