Candace Parker's "This is 'SportsCenter'" commercial for ESPN is scheduled to debut on Monday. Several of the show's anchors are featured in the 30-second spot below. Walking through the ESPN campus, they wear strength shoes - like the kind that intrigued George Costanza on "Seinfeld" - with their business attire. All in the hopes of being able to dunk like Parker.
Here's a testimonial: "Jimmy couldn't jump at all before he got these. Jimmy was like you."
Within this piece, we mentioned a recent Time magazine feature in which Candace Parker fielded 10 questions from readers. You can find the entire Q&A session here. The recruiting process has already begun...
How are you doing with your new daughter? Has your coach at Tennessee, Pat Summitt, started recruiting her yet? Brenda Goodman JOHNSON CITY, TENN.
When I first told Coach Summitt that I was pregnant, she was like, Where can we send the papers? I had to remind her that my husband [Minnesota Timberwolves forward Shelden Williams] went to Duke, so he's pushing for her to go there. But I'm doing great. My baby is the joy in my life. Obviously, I'm suffering from lack of sleep, but it truly is a blessing to be a mother.
Neuqua Valley graduate Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton will be reunited with her friend Candace Parker, just like a WNBA mock draft indicated yesterday.
Wisdom-Hylton, a Purdue senior, was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks with the 13th overall pick in today's WNBA Draft. Parker was the overall No. 1 pick by the Sparks last year.
Wisdom-Hylton was the final pick in the first round. When her name was announced she stood up and shared hugs with her stepfather Tony Hylton, her Purdue coach, Sharon Versyp and the Purdue director of basketball operations, Terry Kix.
Today marks the 13th WNBA draft and for the second year in a row it should involve a local player. Last year it was all-world Candace Parker's turn. Parker was chosen first overall by the Los Angeles Sparks.
This year it's time for Neuqua Valley graduate Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton to head to the pros. Wisdom-Hylton is one of 15 seniors invited to attend the draft Thursday in Secaucus, N.J.
Wisdom-Hylton is expected to be picked in the later stages of the first round or early in the second round of the 13-team draft. Her coach at Purdue, Sharon Versyp, believes Wisdom-Hylton will make an impact on the league with her versatility and her growing confidence.
"In February and March she was, 'Give me the ball, I'm going to score, I'm going to stop this, we're going to win,'" Versyp said. "It was totally different. She spoke it -- she walked the walk; she talked the talk. It was a big, huge lift for everybody."
Versyp said one of the biggest challenges facing Wisdom-Hylton is how she'll adjust to the professional lifestyle.
"It's totally different than college athletics," Versyp said. "You've got to really wrap your head around that. It's a business. You don't always have the overall team camaraderie. It's just a totally different mentality that she has to be confident every single day she steps foot on the floor."
It hasn't happened since their middle-school AAU days, but Candace Parker and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton may become teammates once again. At least according to this WNBA mock draft analysis.
Brian Martin of WNBA.com speculates Wisdom-Hylton will be selected by the Los Angeles Sparks with the final pick of the first round. Parker was the overall No. 1 pick last season by the Sparks, and went on to win MVP and Rookie of the Year honors.
Wisdom-Hylton is among the 15 players invited to attend the WNBA Draft on Thursday in New Jersey. Several observers believe she could be picked in the middle of the first round. But should she slip to the second round, Wisdom-Hylton could end up with the hometown Sky, which has the 16th overall pick.
This year's first round begins at 2 p.m. and is televised on ESPN2. Coverage switches to ESPNU at 3 p.m. for the remaining two rounds.
Candace Parker, who is set to become a mother in a few months, told The New York Times that she plans to play this season in Los Angeles.
"My whole career has been trying to please people in basketball," Parker, a 22-year-old newlywed, said Friday in a telephone interview. "Now it's time to please myself." She added, "For me, family has always come first."
Parker, who was married in November to her longtime boyfriend, Sacramento Kings forward Shelden Williams, is due in the spring. The W.N.B.A. season starts in June and runs through September.
"I'm very stubborn," she said. "I feel like I'm going to play this season."
Shelden Williams sat out Sunday's game in Toronto with a strained left wrist, meaning the Kings power forward didn't play against Anthony Parker, his brother-in-law. That didn't stop Raptors forward Kris Humphries - nursing his own fractured right fibula - from messing with his teammate and sounding a bit like Lloyd Christmas. The Toronto Star's Dave Feschuk does a nice job of setting the scene here:
In these long-season dog days, harmless locker-room nonsense is perhaps essential. Humphries, to that end, asked Anthony Parker, the Raptors shooting guard, about Parker's famous basketball-star sister.
"Did Candace pass any messages on for me?" he wondered.
"She did say she hopes you get better," said Anthony Parker.
Said Humphries, smiling: "So, I still have a chance?"
He was speaking of romance jokingly, one assumes, although with Humphries you're never quite sure if the tongue is knowingly inserted in the cheek. Either way, the jokester was informed that Candace is married to Kings forward Sheldon Williams and expecting the couple's first child. Humphries let out a dramatic sigh.
The Sacramento Bee recently caught up with Raptors guard Anthony Parker and the Naperville Central graduate deftly handled this Q&A session. The Bulls are in Toronto Wednesday night, and the Raptors visit the United Center on Jan. 23. Until then, check out the beginning of Scott Howard-Cooper's piece:
How often do you get asked about your sister Candace Parker and your brother- in-law Shelden Williams?
Often. Especially the day that we play Shelden in basketball. But it's fun, though. I enjoy it. You don't get sick of being asked about your relatives, especially your sister? It's one thing to have a brother-in-law in the NBA. But do you get a lot of people throwing the Candace Parker card in your face in an unflattering way?
Occasionally you hear that, when you're visiting other arenas. ... But it's fun. It doesn't get to me like maybe people think it would. What do you hear most often?
"Your sister's better than you." Not very original.
No. It's the same thing every time. What does she say about all this? Does she feel bad?
No. ... We joke, and we laugh about it. That's where it ends.
If you are suffering from burnout on this story, hang with us, Anthony's comments are on point and worth a look.
"I think, for one thing, if most people put themselves in that situation, they might react the same way," the Toronto Raptors guard said Thursday. "A lot of talk was saying that she took the bait or whatever, and I don't see it like that. I think taking the bait is if somebody elbows you or yells at you, and you react. I think she was in a situation where she had to defend [herself]."
p.s. Since AP is out there playing hoops with civilians, his right hand must be feeling good after his surgery in May.
Essentially, Elliott wrote that this will alter the way sports fans view women in sports.
Tuesday wasn't a dark day for the WNBA. It should signal the dawn of an era in which female athletes are appreciated for being competitive and fiery. No apologies necessary.
I tend to agree with Ellliott that the controversy is good for the WNBA for a few reasons. The No. 1 reason is publicity. The second reason is it involved Candace Parker, who is essentially the same thing as the WNBA at this point.
When Parker quickly stood up and fought back when Plenette Pierson (a name nobody knew until then and we will soon forget) dealt the play, what we saw was the WNBA standing up for itself.