February 23, 2024 

Michaela Onyenwere and Lindsay Allen look forward to playing under the Sky’s new staff

Onyenwere: 'I’m really excited for what we’re going to build in Chicago.'

The Chicago Sky have been very active the 2024 free agency — igniting a transitional period that many are referring to as a rebuild. They traded Kahleah Copper and Morgan Bertsch for Michaela Onyenwere, Brianna Turner, the third pick for this year’s draft, a 2026 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick and the rights to swap 2026 second-round picks from the Phoenix Mercury. 

Continue reading with a subscription to The Next

Get unlimited access to women’s basketball coverage and help support our hardworking staff of writers, editors, and photographers by subscribing today.

Join today

The Sky also signed Diamond DeShields and Lindsay Allen and have a slew of new faces on the staff — Teresa Weatherspoon as the head coach, Crystal Robinson as the assistant coach and Jeff Pagliocca as the general manager. 

The Next and The Equalizer are teaming up

The Next is partnering with The Equalizer to bring more women’s sports stories to your inbox. Subscribe to The Next now and receive 50% off your subscription to The Equalizer for 24/7 coverage of women’s soccer.

While there are many new faces on the Sky, everyone seems to have a good morale when it comes to getting the season started, including Onyenwere, who is excited to play under Weatherspoon. “She’s passionate, she’s fiery, she’s hard. She’s kind of something you want in a coach to really, really push you, especially for the people we have and the team and the personnel that we have as well this year,” Onyenwere said. 

Allen is also looking forward to playing under Weatherspoon and feels comfortable with her as a coach. “You kind of just want to run through a brick wall for her in a way,” Allen said. “She always makes you feel that way whenever you talk.” 

Here’s what the new Sky team members said this week about playing in Chicago. 

Onyenwere is excited to build in Chicago

With new pieces added to the Sky, Onyenwere is excited to get to work — especially with the excitement from Pagliocca and Weatherspoon. “That’s just really comforting to me because they know it’s a hard time as an athlete to get traded as many times [in] such a short time in your career, but they’ve just been so welcoming,” Onyenwere said. “I’m really excited for what we’re going to build in Chicago.” 

Allen is happy to be playing with guards Marina Mabrey and Dana Evans

Allen is joining the dynamic guards, Mabrey and Evans, and is glad to now be their teammate rather than playing against them. “We all compliment each other very well and can provide different skills out there on the court,” Allen said. She acknowledged that Marina is more of a 3-point shooter while Dana is capable of doing everything on the court — from facilitating plays to getting to the basket. “She’s able to get to her floater and get to her mid range and also really shoot the three incredibly well.”

Add Locked On Women’s Basketball to your daily routine

Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

Weatherspoon wants to showcase Onyenwere’s versatility on the court 

“The first initial conversation I had with T Spoon was about my versatility,” Onyenwere said. “So that could be in the post, that could also be on the perimeter as well, maybe a little bit more than it has in my career in the past, which I’m really excited about. Every single year you want to grow, you want to expand your game, and that’s next level for me.” 

Onyenwere is looking forward to joining a talented group of forwards

Onyenwere is excited to play with forward Elizabeth Williams because of how she’s able to effectively help her team on the court. “She’s just been a solid pro since she’s gotten to the league, and I think she’ll continue to do that for us as well as we continue into the season,” Onyenwere said.

Williams and Onyenwere will be joined in the paint by forward Isabelle Harrison, who missed last season due to injury. “She was very athletic for a player who can shoot it, who can pick and pop, who can get to the rim,” Onyenwere said. “I’m really excited to see how she’s come back and recovered, and I’m excited to play with her.” 

Another forward, Turner, is also a newcomer to the Sky. Onyenwere played with her last year in Phoenix, so she’s excited to continue playing with her on the court. “Her defensive abilities are second to none,” Onyenwere said. “She’s able to score, but she can do the right things at all times.” 

Allen wants to set the whole team up for success

As for what she can bring to the team as a guard, Lindsay Allen thinks she does a good job of making everyone’s lives easier on the court. “I’m hoping to provide that for the team, but also for the guard group and just being able to be that kind of more traditional point guard,” Allen said.

Pre-order ‘Rare Gems’ and save 30%

Howard Megdal, founder and editor of The Next and The IX, will release his next book on May 7, 2024. This deeply reported story follows four connected generations of women’s basketball pioneers, from Elvera “Peps” Neuman to Cheryl Reeve and from Lindsay Whalen to Sylvia Fowles and Paige Bueckers.

If you enjoy his coverage of women’s basketball every Wednesday at The IX, you will love “Rare Gems: How Four Generations of Women Paved the Way for the WNBA.” Click the link below and enter MEGDAL30 at checkout.

She thinks she’ll be able to set things up, get the ball into the paint and play in a way that sets the whole team up for success. During the offseason, Allen worked on her confidence and comfortability with the ball.

“It’s always just about having more confidence and being more comfortable and shooting the ball,” Allen said. “Whether that’s my 3-pointer, whether that’s a mid-range and kind of watching film and going back and watching the tape and seeing where maybe I could have taken a shot or maybe I could have a different move to set up a different kind of play.”

Written by Sydney Wingfield

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.