February 1, 2023
Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley announce they won’t be on 2023 Chicago Sky
For the first time since 2010 — the Sky will be without Quigley and Vandersloot
A new era of Chicago Sky basketball has officially embarked.
Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley, the team’s longest-tenured players, announced they won’t be returning to the franchise they helped build over the last decade. Vandersloot penned a message on Instagram yesterday thanking the fan base, players, coaches and ownership for her time with the Sky, while ESPN’s Holly Rowe reported Quigley will not play in the WNBA in 2023.
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“To all my teammates, coaches and staff along the way, I would not be the player I am today without the support, care and love I have received,” Vandersloot said. “Thank you for making my time in Chicago special.”
Between arena changes, superstars coming in and out and unideal work conditions, the duo, better known as The VanderQuigs, altered the trajectory of the franchise. Quigley resurrected her career in Chicago and became a three-time all-star and a two-time sixth woman of the year winner before becoming a full-time starter. Rowe said Quigley, the team’s all-time leader in scoring, hasn’t officially retired.
Vandersloot, Quigley’s wife, turned herself into one of the best point guards in the league following the departure of Sylvia Fowles and Elena Delle Donne. She led the league in assists per game from 2017-2021. No WNBA player had averaged 9 APG in one season until Vandersloot, whose record-setting 2020 season ended with an All-WNBA first-team nod to go along with her 10 APG.
|Skylar Diggins-Smith||2017-2018, 2020-2021||658|
|Sue Bird||2017-2018, 2020-2021||637|
The crowning achievement of Vandersloot and Quigley’s time with the Sky came in 2021. The foundation the two helped lay down that ultimately led to Candace Parker signing in Chicago culminated in the team winning its first title that season. After being down nine points to start the final frame, Quigley and Vandersloot scored or assisted on 24 of the Sky’s 26 fourth-quarter points.
Chicago won a franchise-record 26 games in 2022 but fell to the Connecticut Sun in last year’s semifinals despite being up 2-1 in the series. Vandersloot’s final moment in a Chicago Sky uniform was her waving to the crowd one last time as the team walked off the court.
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On top of losing Parker to the Las Vegas Aces, the Sky only have one starter from last year signed through the 2023 season in Kahleah Copper. The team has $931,801 in cap room to try to rebuild around Copper, Dana Evans, Julie Allemand (if she decides to return to the WNBA) and Ruthy Hebard. Li Yueru is also on a rookie-scale contract, but her status for next season is up in the air. She has not been listed on the Sky’s overseas report sent out to the media and coach/general manager James Wade was critical of the Chinese National Team’s decision to have Yueru leave the Sky in order to prepare for the 2022 World Cup.
The Sky’s future is murky, but it does include new ownership coming into the fold at some point. The team announced former Slack Technologies Chief People Officer Nadia Rawlinson as its next Operating Chairman. She will eventually become the Co-Owner of the Sky once a formal process is completed.