May 11, 2024 

2024 WNBA season preview: Chicago Sky

Plenty of fresh faces on the roster and in leadership

There’s a lot of newness in Chicago — and with it, uncertainty. From changes in leadership to roster movement to preseason injuries, the Chicago Sky have already experienced a lot of adversity. 

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But there’s also a lot to look forward to.

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High-profile rookies

The Sky made three selections in the 2024 WNBA Draft. Two of them were college superstars with built-in followings. 

The Bayou Barbie may lose her nickname as she heads to the Windy City, but Angel Reese will be one of the most talked-about players in the league. Between endorsements, her captivating play on the court and a booming social media following, Reese will have eyes on her wherever she goes — which means more eyes on the Sky. 

“When I was talking to teams during the draft process, I knew I wanted to come to Chicago immediately,” Reese told reporters during training camp. “I felt understood. I felt loved. [Head coach Teresa Weatherspoon] didn’t know me, I didn’t know her, but we had a conversation on the phone where I felt like she was a mom. I know I will always be good with her and she will always be there for me.”

Kamilla Cardoso is fresh off a national title with South Carolina, and the 6’7 Brazilian center garnered plenty of attention during her college career. She can score inside and protect the rim at a high level. Unfortunately, she sustained a shoulder injury during her first preseason action and will miss four to six weeks. 

“It’s frustrating,” Cardoso told reporters about the injury. “I’ve never gotten hurt before. I’ve never had to sit out a game before in my life, so it’s really frustrating. But I know I’ve got some really good people here. They’ve got my back and I’ve just got to trust God. I believe that everything happens for a reason.” 

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Fresh face at head coach

Teresa Weatherspoon was hired as the Sky’s head coach in October and will bring a slew of experience to Chicago. The Naismith Hall of Famer most recently worked in the NBA as a player development coach and then assistant coach for the New Orleans Pelicans. 

Sky players have expressed their excitement about Weatherspoon’s leadership and her confidence in the team. She holds the players and the franchise to a high standard, but she also takes the time to prioritize the specific needs of the roster. 

“She really gets to know each and every one of us, so she knows how to coach us,” veteran guard Dana Evans said. “That’s something that I really like because I don’t think you can coach everyone the same. Everybody’s different. She just genuinely cares about you, so we’re just gonna go hard for her because we want this to be a great first year for her.”

Weatherspoon has voiced her confidence in the team and her role as the new head coach, which includes bringing that same confidence out of each of the players. 

“I wouldn’t say that I empower anyone,” Weatherspoon said. “It’s just my job to pull that out. … That’s where I stand as the head coach is pulling out that empowerment for them to carry themselves in a life of confidence, believing in themselves, knowing who they are, and going and getting the job done. It’s a big piece that you have to have as a head coach.” 

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An experienced core

Evans has been in Chicago since the Sky won their first WNBA championship in 2021. She has been a prominent contributor off the bench. However, due to offseason departures including guards Kahleah Copper and Courtney Williams, Evans may start for the first time in her WNBA career. 

Wing Diamond DeShields missed the 2023 campaign with a knee injury but returns to the Sky for the 2024 season. She spent the first four years of her career in Chicago before playing in Phoenix for the 2022 season. She was a key piece of the Sky’s 2021 title run and will help bolster their offense this year. 

“After going through the things that I’ve been through the past few years, those are the type of people that I need to be around,” DeShields told reporters. “So I’m super fortunate to have left that type of impression on the organization to take what some might feel as a risk. But I believe that the people there know who I am. They know my character, they know my game and [they] understand that a healthy Diamond DeShields is good for any organization.”

Evans and DeShields, along with veterans like center/forward Elizabeth Williams and forward Isabelle Harrison, will help support the new star power of Cardoso and Reese as they adjust to the professional ranks. The Sky are in the middle of a rebuild, but they have talent that can make an impact. 

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Season outlook

There’s no doubt that with new leadership, plenty of roster movement and preseason injuries, the Sky are rebuilding. Trading away a WNBA All-Star in Copper was a telltale sign of that mindset. 

The start of their rebuild has been successful on paper, at the least. They drafted high-profile rookies but will lean on players with experience in this franchise. They have a solid foundation to build upon. 

Weatherspoon’s hiring marked the beginning of a new era for the Sky. They may often be the underdogs this season, but they’ll have plenty of support from a growing fan base.

Want more team-by-team previews for the 2024 WNBA season? Read them all here!

Written by Talia Goodman

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