2009: A Year Full of Excitement
2009 proved to be one of the most exciting years for the Chicago Sky. Its overall record improved from the 12-22 in 2008 to 16-18, the best record in Sky history so far. At home, the Sky had a winning record of 12-5. Head Coach Steven Key’s remained at the helm and his coaching values of work ethic and willingness to improve shaped this team into a formidable opponent. All across the board, players contributed to the team and made it difficult for the opposition to shut them down.
Candice Dupree continued her career-long showcase of talent by averaging 15.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. She was selected to yet another WNBA All-Star game where she was joined by her two teammates, Jia Perkins and Sylvia Fowles.
Jia Perkins followed up a career year in 2008 with another solid performance. Her 13.2 points and 2.94 assists per game helped spread the opponents’ defenses and allow others to score. Once again, Perkins and Dupree formed one-two punch that any team would be proud to have.
Fowles was also another factor that opposing team defenses struggled to find an answer for. Together, Fowles and Dupree were a tough duo to face on the boards. Fowles nearly matched Dupree with 7.8 rebounds per game. In addition, Fowles averaged 11.3 points per game improving on her rookie year statistics. Fowles prowess was acknowledged by fans and coaches and she was voted a starter on the Eastern Conference All-Star Team.
One of the most exciting games that encapsulated the whole season was the June 23 match up vs. the Atlanta Dream on the road. The game was a 99-98 win in OT. The Sky battled hard as this game went down to the wire. Jia Perkins led the charge with 22 points and six assists while Candice Dupree added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Perkins and Dupree along with four other Sky players all scored in double figures. The wealth was spread to all the players in this team effort and this game will go down in history as one of the most exciting ever for the Sky.
Just like the June 23rd game versus Atlanta, the Sky’s 2009 season came down to the wire. With their best record ever, the Sky were in the playoff hunt all year long. At one point, the Sky was even in second place in the Eastern Conference but unfortunately, the Sky was eliminated from the playoffs once again after being involved in a three-team tiebreaker. The Washington Mystics won the tiebreaker sending the Sky back home with their fifth place title. Though they did not make the playoffs, the Sky had one of the most exciting years to date and exemplified some of their best basketball.