2015: A Record-Setting Year
Prior to the start of the 2015 season, the Chicago Sky welcomed veteran Cappie Pondexter after a headlining trade which involved sending Epiphanny Prince to the New York Liberty. The Sky’s 10th season kicked off with the revealing of the first Sky banner in the rafters of Allstate Arena – the 2014 WNBA Eastern Conference Champions banner. The reigning Eastern Conference Champions, along with several new Sky players, returned to Allstate on June 5 for opening night against the Indiana Fever. Elena Delle Donne scored 31 points in the Sky’s 95-72 victory over Indiana. The following night, Delle Donne posted a then-career high of 40 points on the road at Tulsa.
Delle Donne’s career-night came on June 24 as the Sky faced the Atlanta Dream. Before a sellout crowd, Delle Donne topped her previous career high with a 45-point performance and recorded a career-high six blocks. Delle Donne went 19-for-19 from the free throw line, which was the third most free throws made in a game in WNBA history. She earned Eastern Conference Player of the Month after averaging 28.7 points in 10 games, the most by any WNBA player in her team’s first 10 games.
The Sky coaching staff had the honor of coaching the East in the All-Star Game after winning the Eastern Conference in 2014. For the second consecutive year, Delle Donne led the Eastern Conference in All-Star votes; she received 18,034 votes to lead the league for the second time in her three years in the WNBA. Alongside Delle Donne to represent the East in the 2015 WNBA All-Star Game in Connecticut was seven-time All-Star Pondexter.
Shortly after the team’s return from All-Star break, Chicago acquired veteran Erika de Souza from the Atlanta Dream in a three-team trade that sent Sylvia Fowles to the Minnesota Lynx.
Equipped with two 10-year veterans with WNBA championship experience, the Sky entered its third consecutive postseason. The Sky was eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the Indiana Fever.
Delle Donne received the 2015 WNBA Most Valuable Player Award, making her the first player in franchise history to earn the award. Quigley was named the WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year for the second year in a row. Another franchise first, two Sky players received Peak Performer Awards: Vandersloot for leading the league in assists per game; and Delle Donne for leading in points per game.
Chicago posted the best home record in the Eastern Conference (13-4) and the second-best overall season record in franchise history (21-13, .618). The team set a league and franchise record for fewest turnovers in a season after averaging 12.09 turnovers per game. The team received Player of the Week honors a total of seven times by three different players, making the Sky the only team to do so in the 2015 season. The Sky is the only team in WNBA history to record three seasons with more than 200 blocks. Chicago topped its previous record for blocks in a season with 227.
2015 Chicago Sky Team Photo
Front Row: Jamierra Faulkner, Courtney Vandersloot, Cappie Pondexter, Allie Quigley, Tamera Young