2006 Chicago Sky: The Inaugural Season
In its inaugural season, the brand new Chicago Sky hosted a roster led by a mix of players from various WNBA teams. Following an expansion draft held in late 2005 the following players put on the inaugural Chicago Sky jersey in the Summer of 2006 – Stacey Dales, Candice Dupree, Deanna Jackson, Amanda Lassiter, Stacey Lovelace, Nikki McCray, Chelsea Newton, Bernadette Ngoyisa, Jia Perkins, Elaine Powell, Ashley Robinson and Brooke Wyckoff.
Led by the Sky’s first ever Head Coach & General Manager Dave Cowens, the team struggled to find a rhythm all season long as former role players and rookies adapted to expanded roles. However, nothing gets stronger unless it faces an opposing force, and several players emerged as some of the most exciting new players in the league.
Drafted sixth overall in the 2006 WNBA Draft out of Temple University, Candice Dupree led the Sky with her well-rounded style of play. In just her rookie season, Dupree averaged 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Her astounding scoring abilities placed her on the charts with some of the best in the league. At the end of the season, Dupree ranked 14th in the league for points. Her success was noticed and recognized throughout the league and Dupree was named to the WNBA Eastern Conference All-Star Team and selected by unanimous choice to the WNBA All Rookie Team.
One of those players who relished the expanded opportunity she was given after joining the Sky from the Charlotte Hornets was guard Jia Perkins. Perkins demonstrated her experience and ability to score and handle the ball as she averaged 9.4 points per game and accumulated 97 assists on the year.
The most consistent face of the team in 2006 was no doubt Brooke Wyckoff. Wyckoff, a Lake Forest Ill native, eventually made it back to her home state after the Sky acquired her from the Connecticut Sun. Wyckoff was the consummate teammate and quickly became a fan favorite, always ready to step in and knock down the 3 point shot or secure the rebound when needed
Though the season was not stellar, the 5-29 Chicago Sky went through some much needed growth and learning during the 2006 season. They finished in last place in the Eastern Conference, but showed a lot of promise with players like Perkins and Dupree. Through this tough season, the newly created Sky fans proved to be some of the best in the league as they followed through thick and thin.
CHICAGO SKY 2006
Back Row: Coretta Brown, Jia Perkins, Katie Cronin, Amanda Lassiter, Brooke Wyckoff, Stacey Lovelace, Bernadette Ngoyisa, Candice Dupree, Liz Moeggenberg, Stacey Dales, Deanna Jackson, Chelsea Newton
Front Row: Video Coordinator Michael Fischer, Assistant Coach Steven Key, Owner Michael Alter, President and CEO Margaret Stender, Head Coach Dave Cowens, Head Athletic Trainer Georgia Fischer