Random links, info and stuff…

First of all, here’s the Sky’s 2010 Season Preview from WNBA.com. Some interesting tidbits…

As the Chicago Sky prepare to enter their fifth season, their number-one goal remains the same: to make the playoffs. Typically, the ultimate objective is a championship, but the Sky should start two series smaller. They are, after all, the last remaining WNBA franchise without a postseason trip to their name.

Wow, it’s kind of depressing when you put it like that. Fact is, there are other teams that have had playoff droughts longer than the Sky’s. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Minnesota Lynx…who’s last playoff berth was in 2004, two years before the Sky even existed. So while we’re headed into our 5th playoff-less season, they’re heading into their 6th. Yes, pointing out the playoff futility of other teams makes our playoff futility easier to handle šŸ˜‰

…head coach Steven Key believes consistency can spur them closer to, and possibly even over, the 20-win mark.

Let’s hope so. I definitely believe in this team!

ā€œJia and Sylvia will benefit from having added capable scoring teammates, but most importantly, having dependable defensive teammates,ā€ Key said.

Very true! Sky have improved significantly both offensively and defensively this year.


Speaking of season previews, here’s another one from Stephen Litel over at SLAM…Chicago Sky 2010 Season Preview:Ā Has Chi Town found the missing piece? Fanstastic breakdown of the 2010 Sky. Interesting discussion going on in the comments section as well.


Remember a few days ago when I mentioned thatĀ the Sky were going to be doing some work in the community this week as part of WNBA Cares “Week of Service”? Well, yesterday was the day. The Sky spent the day at theĀ 79th Street Senior Center, participating the “Meals on Wheels” program and also hanging out with the seniors during some of their activities. The Sky’s official twitter (@wnbachicagosky) was great about providing lots of fantastic pics of the event (I’m gonna post the pics here because, well, it’s not a personal page, it’s the Sky’s official page)

Jia, Epiphanny and Tamera helpin' out. The hair nets are awesome lol...

Sky dancin' w/ the seniors @ Gospel Tuesdays!

Big smiles from Abi & Sandora...

Courtney Paris šŸ™‚

another successful Sky/WNBA Cares event!

Ok, so, to quote myself from an earlier post…

One request: Can we get some video footage of this ā€œGospel Tuesdayā€ shindig? LoLĀ :-)

Ask and you shall receive

That’s too freakin’ cute! Erin Thorn CLEARLY has the best moves in that vid…I guess the Michael Jackson thing during “Media Day” wasn’t a fluke šŸ™‚


*ARTICLE* Chicago Sky 2010 home game highlights (from Daily Herald) — this article highlights all the biggest games of the season. It pretty much boils down to, every team’s first visit to Allstate is must-see. I definitely agree!

June 15, Atlanta Dream: Armintie Price, the Sky’s No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft (third overall) and the 2007 WNBA rookie of the year, was traded to Atlanta 22 games into last season. This is Price’s first game back in Chicago.

July 16, Los Angeles Sparks: Naperville native Candace Parker is in the house. Enough said.

Aug. 10, Phoenix Mercury: Former Sky star Candice Dupree (the franchise’s first draft choice) makes her only appearance of the season. She was traded in April to the defending WNBA champion Mercury, which also features one of the best players in the league in Diana Taurasi. Taurasi was the 2009 WNBA most valuable player and the most valuable player of the 2009 WNBA Finals.


*ARTICLE* Looking for something new to do this summer? Here’s some ideas(from Daily Herald) — Wow, the DH is giving the Sky lots of love! The article starts with…

Summer means sunshine and swimming, baseball and barbecues, flip-flops and festivals, but you already know about those things. Why not try something new this year? Instead of the same old same old, check out a few novelties that are slated to make their debut in Chicago and the suburbs in the next few months. Don’t forget your sandals and sunscreen.

The article highlights the Lake County Fielders (new minor league baseball team in Zion), Six Flags (with several new rides and attractions), Great Bear Wilderness (a new exhibit at Brookfield Zoo), Broadway in Chicago (with exciting new shows) and, of course, the Chicago Sky (at their new home in Rosemont)

Chicago Sky: They’ve been bringing the action since 2006, but this year the women of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky are changing venues and will start hooping it up in the suburbs.

After playing for four years at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion, the team is moving to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

“We wanted to be more centrally located to more people and more families,” said Margaret Stender, Sky president. “Everybody’s heard of it or has been there.”

Stender added that the Allstate Arena offers a more professional setting and amenities.

Stender says that Sky fans are as rabid as those of other professional sports teams, but acknowledges that more people need to become aware of how exciting and even inspirational women’s basketball is. “It is world-class female athletes and it’s highly competitive,” she said, but more than that, “We wrap lots of family entertainment around it. The number one thing people say to me is, ‘I had no idea it was this fun. I had no idea the athletes were this good.'”

Girls of all ages will be inspired, she said. And boys and men also can learn a thing or two while enjoying the high level of competition. “It’s really important for boys to see that,” Stender says.

Opening night festivities on May 22 will include an outdoor festival if the weather cooperates.

NIIICE! This is the first I’m hearing about an outdoor festival following the home opener. That sounds like fun!


Also from the Sky’s twitter, this great pic was posted before the game on Monday…

Paris, Prince and Fowles


*ARTICLE* Chicago Sky, Red Stars Fight for Media Attention and Fans (from Bleacher Report) — long article about the Chicago Sky and Chicago Red Stars (women’s pro soccer team) covering a wide range of topics — media coverage, venue size, women’ sports in Chicago,Ā attendance, fan support and social media. Pretty good read that brings up a lot of points that make you go “hmmmm”

And that is a major point of concern. We have learned from Major League Soccer that scale of venue is crucial to long-term success. Once MLS was able to escape the “cavernous” American football stadia for soccer-only venues, attendance and prosperity increased dramatically.

WPS is dealing with the same issue now. For the women’s game, despite the fact that unlike men’s soccer in America, WPS is the world’s premier professional women’s league in their sport, attendance is lagging far behind the men’s game. Those relatively intimate soccer-only MLS venues are “cavernous” in relation to the attendance at the women’s game. In Chicago, the 4-5,000 fans who turn out to see the Red Stars play a typical home match are dwarfed by 21,000 seat Toyota Park.

UIC Pavilion was an ideal venue for the Sky, since crowds of 3-5,000 were not swallowed up by the space. More than half of the seats at UIC were filled more than half the time. Allstate, on the other hand, is in the range of smaller NBA venues, and unless the Sky can dramatically increase their gate, their crowds will seem smaller, quieter, and the games will seem less exciting.

I understand what the article is saying about venue size having an affect long-term success, but I also think other things have to be taken into account. There is a poll on this page asking whether the move to Allstate will help or hurt attendance. I didn’t vote becasue, I don’t know. Sure, it would be ideal to play in a really nice 9,000-seat arena with all the amenities. The Connecticut Sun are fortunate enough to have that at Mohegan. But, is it better to play in a small and crappy (…but cozy) arena with no amenities or anĀ over-sized, professional arena with all the amenities? You also have to take into account that one of these arenas is in the city and one is in the suburbs. Are women’s basketball moreĀ concentratedĀ inĀ theĀ city or ‘burbs? Which group is more willing to venture into the others’ domain to see a game? I suspect that the answer to this question is what will have the most impact on attendance.

Anyway, it’s an interesting read that will definitely make you think.


HEY SKY FANS! HEY JANE! Do ya’ll remember this from the inaugural season? Guess who’s baaaaaaaaack! Yeah, the Sky’s original MC, Jane (…or Jade, as I mistakenly referred to her during the entire 2006 season :-)), is back in the house! So exciting! We were SOOOO thrilled to see her during the preseason game on Monday. I can’t believe I forgot to mention it in the original game report. All of our other MC’s since Jane have been terrible (especially the creepy weird dude from last year). Sad thing is, she didn’t do the “Hey Sky Fans! Hey Jane!” cheer on Monday. Hopefully she’s just waiting till opening night to break that out again.

Here’s an old Q&A that the Sky did with Jane in 2006 as well as her official site.

Welcome back, Jane! We missed you!

Welcome baaack!!!


Whew, that was a lot of stuff. Have a great day, Sky fans!

~ Chicago Sky Hoops ~


~ by audsquad on May 12, 2010.

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