'I'm coming here to stir things up': Weatherspoon brings big personality to Sky job

Teresa Weatherspoon's intro music should probably include a few explosions.

The former WNBA star brings a big personality to her new role as coach of the Sky, and she emphasized that trait during Tuesday's news conference at Wintrust Arena.

"I'm coming here to stir things up," Weatherspoon said. "I am beyond excited to be here. I am all in. I am geared up. ... We will take over this town."

One thing that was immediately clear is Sky all-star Kahleah Copper is onboard with the hire. She sat directly next to Weatherspoon during Tuesday's event.

"I think from the very conversation we had, we connected over energy," Copper said. "I said I've never really had a coach that could match my energy and that was just something that really hit me."

At the end of the season, Copper signed a two-year contract extension to stay in Chicago. Copper's opinion was clearly valued, because the Sky has yet to name a general manager to work with Weatherspoon.

A native of Pineland, Texas, Weatherspoon, 57, played in college at Louisiana Tech, then went overseas for a few years before becoming a charter member of the New York Liberty when the WNBA began in 1997.

After her playing career ended, Weatherspoon was the coach at Louisiana Tech from 2009-14 and recently spent three years as an assistant coach with the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans.

Asked to describe her coaching style, Weatherspoon did not use any basketball terms.

"Fire," she said. "You're looking at it right here (pointing to Copper). Fire becomes contagious, energy becomes contagious. Just being energetic becomes truly contagious. It will jump from one person to the next. I promise if you stand close enough it's going to jump in you."

The Sky is likely to carry the nucleus of players from this year's 18-22 squad into next season. Besides Copper, guards Marina Mabrey and Dana Evans, center Elizabeth Williams and forward Isabelle Harrison are under contract, but there will be opportunities to change the roster in free agency.

Operating chairman Nadia Rawlinson said at the news conference the team is still working to secure its own practice facility. The Sky has practiced at the Sachs Center in Deerfield for much of its existence.

"The overall vision is to win and to have the right pieces in place to do that," Rawlinson said. "Both Kah and Teresa are critical components of that foundation."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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