Dolson Says Goodbye to the Sky


When Stefanie Dolson was traded to the Chicago Sky in 2017, she was a one-time All-Star with three seasons of WNBA experience. She wasted no time making an impact in Chicago.

In her first season with the Sky, she was the team’s second-leading scorer and had the best field goal percentage. From a numerical standpoint, it was her best season not only during her time with the Sky but in the WNBA in general.

Five years later, Dolson wasn’t putting up as high of numbers like when she first got to Chicago. But she is leaving the Windy City with a more storied career. She’s a two-time All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist, and a WNBA champion whose presence will be missed in Chicago.

Dolson, who was an unrestricted free agent, recently agreed to a multiyear deal with the New York Liberty, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The signing was officially announced on Thursday, Feb. 3.

The Sky shared well wishes and gratitude for Dolson on social media in lieu of the news of her departure.

While Chicago was in consideration, The Athletic’s Chantel Jennings reported that Dolson’s final choices in free agency came down to her home team of the Liberty and Seattle Storm.

Windy City

When Dolson re-signed with Chicago in the 2020 offseason, she expressed her sentiment for both the city and her team.

“I’ve come to love the city of Chicago,” Dolson said in a press release. “The fans here are amazing, and I’ve never been closer to a team in my career. I want to help bring a championship to this city, so I’m honored that they have signed me back to do that.”

Sky head coach James Wade added that the center is “a big part of our identity on both ends of the floor, and off the floor as well.”

Per the Chicago Sun-Times’  Annie Costabile, the decision to re-sign with the Sky in 2020 was a simple choice given the mutual interest on both sides. This offseason, the mutual interest remained, but affordability was a contributing factor.

Dolson’s departure comes after five seasons in Chicago. She played a key role as a member of the team’s core during her tenure. During that time, the New York native averaged 10.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 51.5% from the field and 38.6% on 3-pointers.

Aside from numbers, Dolson became known for her fun personality and high energy. Something Chicago fans came to love — especially during the Sky’s championship parade.

Hard Work Pays Off

In 2021, she averaged 7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists in 20 minutes through 24 games with 15 starts. Her role was primarily that of a pick-and-pop player. Throughout the playoffs, her playing time decreased, but she continued to be effective during the Sky’s championship run. Dolson averaged 4.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 16.8 minutes per game throughout the postseason, shooting 51.2% overall.

“She was ready,” Wade said of Dolson’s play in the WNBA Finals, as reported by the Hartford Courant. “She gave us some good, valuable minutes.”

Dolson contributed to both the Sky and USA’s 3×3 success to the time she spent getting in better shape last offseason.

“I worked my ass off this off season to lose weight, get quicker and be my best version of myself to help my team and I did just that!” she wrote in an Instagram post.

As reported by The Lead’s Mike Perry, Dolson acknowledged her time with the Sky during her introductory press conference with the Liberty. She said the lessons she learned from the veterans in Chicago will be one thing she brings to New York. A new era for Dolson begins now.

About Ashley Wijangco

Ashley is a Filipina American writer and Illinois journalism graduate based in the Chicago suburbs. She has a decade's worth of sports writing experience, having been published in several online publications. She writes about the Bulls, the Sky, and general NBA content for The Lead.

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