Comparisons of LeBron James to basketball royalty

WNBA titles, Olympic gold medals, personal accolades – Candace Parker has won it all.

The 35-year-old enjoyed another 12 months of success, winning the WNBA title with Chicago Sky and welcoming a child with wife Anna Petrakova.

In honor of the basketball star, GiveMeSport Woman looks back on his career so far.

Youth

Parker was born in St. Louis, Missouri on April 19, 1986, before her family moved to Illinois when she was two years old.

She was raised in a basketball-loving family — her father played basketball at the University of Iowa in the 1970s, and her older brother Anthony Parker became an NBA star.

At first, Parker, who grew up supporting the Chicago Bulls, worried that he wouldn’t be able to play basketball at the same level as his family. But she finally started the sport in eighth grade.

Parker caused a stir at Naperville Central High School, leading her team to state titles in 2003 and 2004. In the past year, the prodigy became the first woman to win the McDonald’s All-American slam dunk contest Game.

the Chicago Grandstand even compared Parker to LeBron James, who was on the verge of becoming the number one pick in the NBA draft.

Success in the field

Parker started at the University of Tennessee in 2004, but sat out his freshman season due to a knee injury.

She then began her career with the Tennessee Lady Vols in the 2005-2006 season and quickly became the first woman to dunk in an NCAA game.

Shortly after, Parker became the first woman to dunk twice in a single NCAA game. The star won back-to-back NCAA titles with the Lady Vols in 2007 and 2008 and won numerous personal accolades.

Parker was unsurprisingly the first pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft and was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks. She stayed with the team for 13 seasons, helping them win a WNBA title in 2016.

In February 2021, Parker signed a two-year contract with Chicago Sky. This move paid off immediately, with the team winning the WNBA title eight months later.

During her career, Parker was twice named the WNBA Most Valuable Player and selected to six All-WNBA teams and five All-Star teams.

She also had a successful international career with the United States, winning two Olympic gold medals.

Advocacy out of court

Parker has often been outspoken about gender equality in sport, motherhood, Black Lives Matter, and issues of health equity and social justice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also became an LGBTQ+ icon when she revealed in December that she had been married to Anya Petrakova, a Russian professional basketball player, for two years.

In a heartwarming Instagram post about the couple’s two-year marriage, Parker also announced that they were expecting a baby.

The couple’s son, named Airr Larry Petrakov Parker, was born earlier this month.


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