NEW YORK- Courtney Vandersloot was named as the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month for August, the first time in her career she has earned the honor.
Vandersloot averaged 13.6 PPG, 9.5 APG and 1.3 SPG during the Sky’s 14 games in August, where team went 9-5. She most recently broke Ticha Penicheiro’s record for most assists in a single game (18, previously set at 16 by Penicheiro twice and most recently on August 3, 2002) during the Sky’s win over the Indiana Fever on August 31. It was her 52nd career game with a double-figure assist total as well as her 34th double-double (13 points, 18 assists), her fifth this season.
“This one feels good, because I absolutely thought this record was untouchable,” Vandersloot said. “Shoutout to Ticha [Penicheiro] for setting this one. She set the bar very high. I don’t think that this one is going to be touched very often. It’s tough to get 16 assists in a game so this one is really special. My teammates were knocking down shots and they were just as happy as I was. It makes it so much more enjoyable for me out there.”
The 10-year veteran also became the first player in WNBA history to record a 15-point, 15-assist and five rebound game during the Sky’s victory over the Las Vegas Aces on August 18. It was at the time the third game in her career that she recorded 15 assists, which was a then a career-high. She also tied the Sky franchise record for most assists in a half (10) during that game.
“I think she’s actually taking the team on her shoulders,” said Sky General Manager and Head Coach James Wade. “You see everything that she’s doing as far as helping players improve… It helps our culture; it helps everything.”
Just four days later (August 22), Vandersloot became the fifth player in WNBA history to reach 1,800 career assists, joining fellow league legends Sue Bird, Ticha Penicheiro, Diana Taurasi and Lindsay Whalen on that exclusive list.
Over the course of the 2020 WNBA season, Vandersloot has consistently ranked first in APG (currently at 9.3, nearly four more than Julie Allemand and Jordin Canada who both rank second) and is averaging a career-high 13.3 PPG. She was also named as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice in August.
“I just feel like every time I think she’s at her peak she goes to another level,” said Sky guard Allie Quigley. “I’ve seen it firsthand; she’s always been the hardest worker on the court.”
Vandersloot is one of five Sky players to be using her own platform as part of the greater #SkyTakesAction initiative this season. She is donating $10 for each assist she records to DonorsChoose, which will help provide funding for classroom supplies in Chicago Public Schools. Vandersloot is also auctioning off a pair of game-worn customized shoes as part of her collaboration with the organization.
“It’s not a secret that public school funding is an ongoing problem,” Vandersloot said. “We have teachers all over the country paying millions of dollars out of pocket for supplies in order to provide the proper education to their students. The Chicago Public Schools are no stranger to that. Despite being the 3rd largest district in the nation, the CPS only receives 15% of the state funding. It’s not a coincidence that 90% of the CPS students are children of color. I realize the problem will not be solved tomorrow, but I want to be a part of the change today. I am passionate about education and strongly believe that every student, no matter where you’re from or the color of your skin, should have access to quality education. This is why I chose to use my personal success for this season to help bring awareness and funds to teachers and students in Chicago. I am beyond thankful for Donors Choose who have been doing just that for every public school in America, for years.”