Athlete. Broadcaster. Mom. Human. In no particular order. Candace Parker is many things, and she’s been a staple in the sports industry for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, she was the name to know.
To celebrate women’s history month, here are three times when Candace Parker demanded respect and showed who was boss.
Lighting up the WNBA with a Spark (Pun Intended)
Parker was drafted first overall and in her rookie year alone, she won both the MVP and the ROTY award, won a gold medal, and more all while being pregnant. Not only was she the only WNBA player to win both MVP and ROTY in the same season, but an NBA player hasn’t even achieved this since 1968. Her achievements and hard work speak for themselves.
Oh, and I have one more pun. Guess you could call her Candace (S)Parker.
I don’t blame you if you stop reading here, but you should stick with me.
What Happens When You’re The Only Woman On A Panel
If you’ve been following Inside the NBA on TNT recently, you know how abrasive it can get sometimes. When we get a fresh perspective on the show like Candace Parker, it clashes with their usual “structure.” Inside the NBA is not an entirely analytical show, we know they’re usually looking for entertainment through various means (looking at you, segment with Shaq guessing players names).
Candace Parker holding her own when she comes on the show can be really difficult, but keeping a calm head and relying on her knowledge is something that inspires me every single time. This should be the blueprint for anyone on television, especially the only woman in a room of men.
WNBA – Leading The Way For Social Justice
The WNBA really paved the way for bringing awareness and change by standing in solidarity and taking ownership in the bubble. Parker speaks on the importance of that in the video above. Her cadence (unintended pun I swear) gives so much credibility to herself as an important figure and to her platform.
Candace Parker will return home and play for the Chicago Sky this upcoming season after being with the Los Angeles Sparks for her entire career. I’m sure Sky fans rejoiced when they heard this news, as Parker is one of the best to ever do it. I’m glad to write about her this women’s history month, and make sure to check out the rest of our women’s month articles on Unbenched Sports!