2008: Fine Tuning
This season saw the arrival of a highly touted rookie center out of LSU, Sylvia Fowles, with the second pick and also another change in leadership with Sky Assistant Steven Key being named Head Coach & General Manager. The Sky also continued to fine tune their roster and add the pieces of the puzzle that would bring them stability and players to grow with in the coming years. The Sky’s record was relatively consistent from the previous season at 12-22 but they proved to be tough to beat in front of the home crowd with eight of the 12 wins earned at the UIC Pavilion.
One of its most impressive wins came at the expense of the Minnesota Lynx on July 1, 2008. Candice Dupree proved to everyone why she was a deserved All-Star as she put up a double, double with 26 points and 10 rebounds. That same night, Center/Forward Chasity Melvin also recorded a double, double of her own with 11 points and 11 rebounds and the Sky won a hard fought, entertaining game 73-71.
That year, Dupree had some competition from her team mates to earn the title as top scorer for the Sky. Jia Perkins had a tremendous year averaging 17 points, 2.76 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game. Her increased scoring average just nudged out Candice Dupree’s of 16.3 per game. These two players were recording such similar numbers that Perkins was 11th overall in the league and Dupree was 12th. Much of the Sky’s success in 2008 was due to their strong inside / outside threat that teams struggled to defend.
The third element in the Sky’s attack was the newly drafted Sylvia Fowles. The 6’6 LSU Lady Tiger proved to be a handful as a rookie. Fowles averaged 10.5 points per game and controlled the boards with 7.5 rebounds per game. Her potential was evident as she learned something from every game. Fowles was selected to the 2008 WNBA All Rookie Team and also wowed the world at the Beijing Olympic games leading all scorers for Team USA. It would not be the last All-Star or USA team Fowles would grace.
Overall, the Sky finished fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 10-10 conference record. It was the best finish in Sky history, and set the precedent for future seasons and even greater improvements.
2008 Chicago Sky Team Photo
Back Row: Assistant Coach Stephanie White, Head Coach Steven Key, Assistant Coach Michael Mitchell, Brooke Queenan, Brooke Wyckoff, Sylvia Fowles, Tye’sha Fluker, Chasity Melvin, Candice Dupree, Strength and Conditioning Coach Ann Crosby, Head Trainer Nick Rubel
Front Row: Armintie Price, Jia Perkins, Quianna Chaney, Dominique Canty, Cathy Joens, K.B. Sharp