WNBA

Vandersloot’s Dimes Record Bankrolls Sky Finals Fund

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In a very silly commercial, Shaquille O’Neal argues that The General is a cartoon that sells car insurance. Here in the WNBA, we know better. The point guard is a team’s general; she paces her team down the floor and sets up her teammates for greater glory. All she asks for is an assist, which usually rolls off the postgame show tongue as an afterthought. But now and then, a general gets a medal. On August 31st last season in the wubble, Chicago’s Courtney Vandersloot shattered another ceiling with 18 whacks of the equality ax. Is her assist record made to be broken? The only objects Slooty breaks as the Sky race towards their first championship are thin ankles.

Quick, Break the Record!

The 10-6 Sky had to battle Indiana without Azurá Stevens and Diamond DeShields, who had left Bradenton. Thankfully, Chicago faced a Fever team again struggling futilely to escape the lottery. When Slooty tied the WNBA record with her 16th assist, a gentle dime to rookie Ruthy Hebard, only fans seemed to notice. Coach James Wade checked Slooty out, seemingly ruining history.

Thankfully, former coach Amber Stocks’s legacy of always going for records remains in Skytown. Once the bench recognized the historic assist possibility, Slooty checked back in, as she explained later.

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After an illegal screen foiled her first attempt, Ruthy grabbed a board, and the assist queen tried again. Allie Quigley, Slooty’s wife, drove in the paint, only to be cut off. She passed it back to Slooty, who waited as Stefanie Dolson set her trademark screen. Now, Quigley, the two-time three-point contest champion, stood open for a moment. But a general only needs a second to win a battle.

Wow, 17 assists! It should be a lovely celebration in the locker room, right? But wait, there’s more! After back-to-back Sky blocks and another Ruthy board, the shot clock kept ticking. The lazy Fever, now down 22, left Quigley open. Swish!

Slooty concluded the greatest regular-season night in Sky history with assist #18. Tragically, Chicago lost four of its last five games and faced laughably under-seeded Connecticut in the wubble playoffs. However, despite the one-sided defeat, reinforcements soon arrived.

Lapping the Enemy

The Sky army landed a coup by signing future Hall-of-Famer Candance Parker from the struggling Sparks. Slooty led the next charge of the blue-and-yellow brigade with four dimes and a +/- of +18 in a blowout triumph over Washington in this season’s opener. Although Chicago dropped its last two due to Parker’s ankle tweak, their point guard helped keep her team competitive with 16 assists against New York. With Dolson temporarily off the team for Olympic 3×3 qualifying and Quigley nursing a hamstring injury, Chicago appears outnumbered in its crusade for playoff seeding. But if Slooty can continue to support her team and budding women’s basketball city unselfishly, O’Neal may need a new tagline. “For the greatest point guard of all time, give it to Slooty, and she’ll drop a dime!”

Game stats courtesy Chicago Sky official app

About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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