Allie Quigley’s story in the WNBA reminds new players what’s possible

Sky guard Allie Quigley’s WNBA story is the stuff of legend.

It has been instructed and retold so many occasions that Quigley has develop into the instance of what’s potential when perseverance, arduous work and alternative meet the proper timing.

She’s a member of the 2008 WNBA Draft class, together with teammate Candace Parker and former teammate Sylvia Fowles, however her highway to changing into a champion appeared drastically completely different than theirs did.

‘‘I at all times inform the story of Allie Quigley,’’ Sky coach/normal supervisor James Wade stated. ‘‘She’s in all probability bored with me telling it. It’s considered one of my favourite tales as a result of I really feel like Allie, besides I didn’t make it. Seeing how she persevered, it’s considered one of my favourite tales of all time.’’

On Saturday in opposition to the Lynx in Minneapolis, Quigley returned to the court docket after lacking the Sky’s first two video games with an damage to her proper knee. She scored seven factors in 21 minutes within the Sky’s 82-78 victory. Emma Meesseman led 5 gamers in double figures with 17 factors.

Lots of people can relate to Quigley — not solely athletes whose careers took time to develop, but in addition regular people who’ve fought by adversity.

Initially drafted by the Storm within the second spherical, Quigley was waived earlier than the 2008 season began and signed with the Mercury days later. She performed in 20 video games in two seasons for them.

Through the WNBA Finals final season, former Mercury teammate Diana Taurasi stated they noticed glimpses of the participant Quigley would develop into.

In 2010 and 2011, nonetheless, Quigley performed for 3 groups. In 2012, she determined to deal with her abroad profession and skipped the WNBA season completely.

In 2013, Quigley signed with the Sky. Then coach/GM Pokey Chatman had watched her play in Hungary and signed her, assured she belonged on the Sky’s roster.

It’s a narrative that holds many similarities to that of Quigley’s teammate, 31-year-old rookie Rebekah Gardner.

Wade lived hours from the place Gardner was taking part in in Spain this offseason. However after watching her play in opposition to WNBA expertise reminiscent of Arike Ogunbowale, Diamond DeShields and 2021 Finals MVP Kahleah Copper, he knew she belonged within the league.

Wade signed Gardner to a rookie-scale contract earlier than she even arrived to camp. In her WNBA debut, Gardner proved Wade proper, ending with 14 factors on 6-for-9 capturing to go along with 4 rebounds and two steals.

‘‘It’s been 10 lengthy years,’’ Gardner stated after her debut. ‘‘So it’s good when your arduous work begins to repay.’’

Quigley’s and Gardner’s tales mirror the necessity for extra roster spots within the WNBA.

Wade not too long ago launched Sparkle Taylor from the substitute contract she had signed, but it surely wasn’t as a result of she wasn’t gifted sufficient to play with the Sky. The WNBA’s roster restrict is 12 gamers, however most groups carry solely 11 due to salary-cap restraints.

One of the troubling implications is that the profession arcs of gamers reminiscent of Quigley and Gardner aren’t commonplace.

Wade stated he likes to share Quigley’s story to remind younger gamers what’s potential in the event that they proceed creating outdoors the WNBA in hopes of coming again.

‘‘All the things they’re feeling now, I used to really feel in my first couple of years,’’ Quigley stated. ‘‘Feeling overloaded with data, such as you couldn’t be your finest since you’re pondering and questioning your self. I’ve talked to the youthful gamers about attempting to remain assured, be themselves and know that it’s a course of. Typically it’s not going to occur immediately.’’

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