2011: Focus, Fight, Finish for Forty
2011 again saw more change for the Sky as our fourth Head Coach & GM, Pokey Chatman was introduced to Sky fans as their new leader in October 2010. 2011 was also the year of Sylvia Fowles. She spent the season breaking franchise and WNBA records. In her fourth season in the WNBA, Fowles proved once again to be a true student of the game as she continued to make improvements to her game.
The Sky finished the season 14-20 with a home record of 10-7. Though the record may not indicate it, the Sky played all the teams in the league tough with 14 of their 20 defeats being by less than 10pts and Coach Chatman’s inaugural season with the Sky was a step in the right direction to “Focus, Fight, Finish for 40 minutes”.
Fowles averaged a double, double in 2011 with 20.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. She ranked third in points, second in rebounds, first in field goal percentage, and first in blocks. She was named to the WNBA-All Star team and named the WNBA Defensive MVP as well as breaking the following franchise & WNBA records:
- She was the second player ever to average 20 points and 10 rebounds in a WNBA season
- Her eight consecutive double doubles sets a WNBA record for a single season
- Her 68 consecutive games scoring in double figures in the longest active streak in the league
- Her total points (680) breaks her own franchise record of 606
- She recorded her 1,000 career rebound and set another Sky franchise record
Fowles was not the only person turning heads on the Sky. Epiphanny Prince returned from a very successful offseason in Russia for a far more impressive second year. Prince averaged 13.6 points, 2.32 steals, and 3.00 assists per game. Her defensive pressure often caused steals up front which led to fast breaks and Prince finished the season second in the WNBA in steals.In all the commotion of Sylvia breaking records, people sometimes forget about a phenomenal rookie that broke a record of her own. Courtney Vandersloot was drafted third overall by the Chicago Sky. The Gonzaga alum had established a name for herself in college as the first Division I player, male or female, to accumulate 2,000 points and 1,000 assists in a career. There was a lot of hype, but Vandersloot delivered. She averaged 6.5 points per game and 3.74 assists per game. Her 127 assists on the season was a franchise record. Her play was noticed, and she was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team and the WNBA All Rookie Team.
2011 was a success for the Chicago Sky from the addition of a new head coach with a track record of success, players who came into their own, on-court records broken and promising rookies that were added to the roster to the huge 29% increase in attendance. The Chicago Sky is a young team with a lot of potential. It is a good time to be a Sky fan and with the number 2 pick in the 2012 WNBA draft there is even more to look forward to in 2012.
2011 Chicago Sky Team Photo
Back Row: Pokey Chatman (Head Coach/General Manager), Christie Sides (Assistant Coach), Jeff House (Assistant Coach), Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, Carolyn Swords, Sylvia Fowles, Michelle Snow, Cathrine Kraayeveld, Ann Crosby (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Michelle Kania (Head Athletic Trainer)
Front Row: Courtney Vandersloot, Dominique Canty, Tamera Young, Shay Murphy, Erin Thorn, Epiphanny Prince