Sky Sign Chinese National Team Center Chen Nan Through 2010 Season

CHICAGO, April 28, 2009 – Chicago Sky Head Coach and General Manager Steven Key announced today that the team has signed 2009 Women’s Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA) Most Valuable Player, Chen Nan, through the 2010 season. Per team policy, terms of the contracts have not been released. Chen, a 6’5” center, will add even more height to an already big Sky lineup that includes 6’6” center Sylvia Fowles and 6’2” forward Candice Dupree.

Twenty-six-year-old Chen, began playing for the Chinese National Team at age 16, and became a WCBA rookie at age 18. Chen currently plays for team BaYi Stationery of the WCBA, and was named 2009 WCBA MVP averaging 23.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game. Chen a four-time WCBA Champion was named 2003 All-WCBA Center of the Year.

Chen has represented the Chinese Women’s National Basketball team for 10 years, appearing in the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, 2006 World Championship in Brazil, and most recently in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing where she averaged 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. The dynamic and versatile play of Chen Nan helped lead the Women’s Chinese National team to its best Olympic finish-ever, placing fourth overall.

“It was my dream to play in the WNBA and now as a member of the Chicago Sky my dream has come true,” said center Chen Nan. “The WNBA is the top league for women’s basketball, and hosts the best players in the world. I know it will be a challenge, but I am glad to be playing for the Sky. I am committed to assisting the Sky in any way possible to become a championship team. I’m excited to be on the same team as Sylvia , during the 2008 Beijing Olympics I learned she is an extremely aggressive and dominant player in the paint, I am a lucky dog playing aside her. The Sky to me has been something that I’ve liked since I was young, to me it represents having no limits – the Sky has no limits! ”

“The addition of Nan is a bold and exciting move,” said Head Coach and General Manager Steven Key. “Nan has incredible experience in playing for both the Chinese National Team and in the WBCA, she is prepared, skilled, and ready to compete with the best in the world, which is why we are excited to have her as a member of the Sky. At 6’5” her addition will add to the overall height and size of our front court, which we need to challenge the best in the WNBA. Her ability to shoot from the outside as well as drive to the basket is exceptional for a player of her size. There’s no doubt that Nan dramatically adds to our athleticism and versatility which we must have to build a championship team.”

Nan is the second international player for the Sky, and will arrive in Chicago in early May in time to report to Sky training camp, which begins on May 17, with media day on May 18. The Sky season opens on June 6 at Minnesota. The Sky’s home opener is on June 12 against the Atlanta Dream at 7:30pm at the UIC Pavilion.

Click here for a photo gallery of Chen Nan playing in the 2008 Olympic games.

Watch Steven Key’s Press Conference Regarding Chen Nan