2013 Chicago Sky History
The 2013 season brought a rookie superstar to the Sky’s already strong roster, putting the team on track for another successful year. The Sky started the season with a bang, using its second overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft to select Elena Delle Donne, a 6’5 guard/forward from Delaware. Delle Donne, one of the league’s “3 To See” in 2013, was a highly anticipated addition, and her dominant play helped the Sky reach new heights in 2013.
With Delle Donne joining a roster of experienced veterans including Swin Cash, Courtney Vandersloot, Sylvia Fowles and Epiphanny Prince, the Sky looked like the team to beat. When the Sky opened the season on May 27th with a 102-80 win over a stacked Phoenix Mercury squad, the team proved that it was up for the challenge.
The team continued to put pressure on its opponents as it moved through a hectic WNBA schedule, setting many new franchise records along the way. The Sky opened the season with its best start in history, winning its first three games while averaging 93.3 points, 42.3 rebounds and 17.7 assists per game. The team also recorded its best home start record ever, winning 5 straight at the Allstate Arena between May 31st and June 29th.
While the Sky was finding success as a team, its players were excelling on an individual level. Sylvia Fowles set a franchise record with 22 rebounds on May 31st against Connecticut and picked up Player of the Week honors from July 8-July 14th. Elena Delle Donne also took back-to-back Player of the Week nods from June 24th to July 7th, and she became June’s WNBA Rookie of the Month after leading all rookies in free-throw percentage (93.8%), points (19.1) and minutes (33.1) per game.
When the Sky reached the mid-point of the season, Elena Delle Donne continued to make history by becoming the first rookie to finish at the top of the fan voting for the WNBA All-Star Game. Epiphanny Prince made her second career All-Star appearance and first All-Star start, while Sylvia Fowles earned her third All-Star nod.
During the second half of 2013, the Sky’s stars continued to shine, as Delle Donne picked up Rookie of the Month honors for July, August and September to become just the second player in history to sweep the award. At the same time, Fowles was earning Player of the Month titles in August and September, and the rest of the team was putting up strong performances through several short-term injuries. A five-game win streak in July and a 6-game win streak in August helped the team to its best record in history, and the Sky clinched its first-ever playoff berth with an 82-64 win over the Liberty on August 23rd. By the time the regular season ended on September 14th, the Sky had compiled a record of 24-10 to finish at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
As the Sky entered the playoffs for the first time in franchise history on September 20th, Fowles and Delle Donne picked up a pair of individual honors. Fowles was named as the league’s 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, while Delle Donne was unanimously voted as the 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year. The Sky was bested by the Fever in two games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but after its most exciting and successful season to date the team has paved the way for success in 2014.
2013 Chicago Sky Team Photo
Back Row: Michelle Campbell, Avery Warley, Carolyn Swords, Sylvia Fowles, Elena Delle Donne, Swin Cash, Eshaya Murphy
Front Row: Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Tamera Young, Sharnee’ Zoll-Norman, Epiphanny Prince