Fever Gets First Look At Rookie Sensation Parker

May 29, 2008 | by Ericka Sanders

There’s no denying that Los Angeles Sparks rookie Candace Parker is a super star.

Forget about her back-to-back titles at Tennessee or her being chosen as the first player in April’s WNBA draft followed by a WNBA record 34 points for a debut, Parker makes the game look easy.

With Lisa Leslie back after giving birth to a daughter last year and coach Michael Cooper calling the plays, the Sparks are in a great position to make a run at a third title.

Entering tonight’s game against the Fever, Los Angeles brought a 2-0 record and Parker bought a 23 point average. Indiana however bought a toughness and determination outlasting the Sparks 82-78 in double overtime.

With 16 points, 16 boards, five assists, five steals and six blocks in her first game against the Fever, Parker continued to impress many. Before the game she talked with FeverBasketball.com about life as a rookie, expectations and one of her idols, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings.

On Catchings: She’s the main reason I went to Tennessee. She grew up in the same area I did (Illinois) and I watched her play in high school. She’s a great role model and has a great work ethic as well.

On playing with Tennessee teammates Shannon Bobbitt and Sidney Spencer: It’s really nice. Just about our entire team played in the SEC and all are familiar faces. We look at it as if we took the SEC and moved it out West.

On life in the WNBA: It’s a grueling schedule. Training camp was definitely difficult. Honestly, it’s a struggle coming right from college into the WNBA. It’s a different mentality. However, a lot of things have remained the same. The goal is to put the ball in the basket.

On Sparks’ chances at a title: It’s important to have a clear goal and that is our goal. Every day we talk about being champions. You have to take baby steps and that’s what we’re doing.

Fever player’s thoughts on Parker

Tully Bevilaqua: She makes tough shots and it’s a compliment to her. She’s a rookie but she’s not playing like a rookie.

Tan White: She plays very aggressive. She’s been playing with some of the greatest players and it shows. She’s playing with a lot of confidence.

Katie Douglas: She’s a pretty amazing player. I’ve never guarded anybody with that kind of talent and those kinds of abilities. She definitely lives up to the hype and it’s scary to think that she’s still so young and has the potential to get a lot better.