Sky Fortify Coaching Staff With Wauters


Coming off a WNBA championship of their own, the Chicago Sky will be hiring Ann Wauters as an assistant coach, according to Just Women’s Sports.

A 2016 WNBA champion in her last season with the Los Angeles Sparks, the signing will reunite Wauters with her former teammate Candace Parker — albeit as coach and player, respectively.

Drafted at 19 years old as the No. 1 overall pick in 2000 by the Cleveland Rockers, she spent three seasons there before stints with the New York Liberty, San Antonio Silver Stars, Seattle Storm and the Sparks. Her lone all-star season came in 2005 during her final year with the Liberty.

Although she played nine total seasons in the league, the 6-foot-4 center took several seasons off from the W. Overall, she averaged 9.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 53.6% from the field.

Among the Best of Belgium Basketball

Most recently, the Belgium-born Wauters made her Olympic debut at 40 years old as a member of the Belgium women’s national basketball team at the Tokyo Games in 2021. She was team captain of the Belgian Cats in their first Olympic appearance, which ended with a quarterfinals loss to host country Japan.

While the Olympics were her farewell to playing the sport, her final season of play was in 2020.

Basketball Belgium, the governing body for basketball in Belgium, shared an hour-long retirement tribute video for its women’s national team captain in November 2021. Among the people who shared congratulatory messages for Wauters included Parker. Parker reflected on Wauter’s impact on the game. On their days as competitors and as teammates both in Los Angeles and Russia. Parker also shared an anecdote about being taught the “Ann Wauters move” from Wauters herself.

From Russia to Turkey and Beyond

Outside of the U.S. and her time with Belgium, Wauters also had a storied career elsewhere.

Her list of accolades includes being a 2015 EuroCup winner, four-time EuroLeague champion, four-time French National League champion, four-time French Cup winner and a two-time Russian National League champion among others. Highlights of her playing days in Europe included Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg and WBC CSKA Moscow as well as Turkey’s Galatasaray and Yakin Dogu. Wauters also played in Spain and Korea.

The accomplishments are something to be proud of, but, in a CNN article from July 2021, Wauters explained the success she has achieved wasn’t her biggest takeaway from all the professional opportunities she’s had.

“(M)ore so it’s what I’ve learned, to be on different kinds of teams and different kinds of cultures, playing with people of different backgrounds,” said Wauters.

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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