How Sky's Allie Quigley went from almost giving up on her dream to being an all-star

 
 
Updated 7/20/2018 6:24 PM
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  • Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley was frustrated and nearly gave up on her WNBA dream. But she got a call from her hometown team and decided to give it one more try. Two years later, she won her first of two straight WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year awards. A couple of years after that, Quigley earned her first of two straight all-star game nods. Quigley, a native of Joliet and a former star at DePaul, will be playing in her second all-star game next weekend.

    Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley was frustrated and nearly gave up on her WNBA dream. But she got a call from her hometown team and decided to give it one more try. Two years later, she won her first of two straight WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year awards. A couple of years after that, Quigley earned her first of two straight all-star game nods. Quigley, a native of Joliet and a former star at DePaul, will be playing in her second all-star game next weekend. Associated Press File Photo

When Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley found out earlier this week that she had been named a 2018 WNBA all-star, she had a humbling reaction.

"My initial reaction when finding out was honestly shocked," Quigley said.

The truth is, in some ways, Quigley, who grew up in Joliet and played her college ball at DePaul, is shocked to even be in the league at all. She very nearly wasn't. She almost gave up on trying to be.

The Sky is Quigley's fifth WNBA team. Before she caught on in Chicago, beginning with the 2013 season, Quigley was a journeywoman of sorts, playing with four different teams in five years and missing a season because she didn't get picked up.

She played in a total of just 34 games with those other four teams and had reached pretty much the end of her rope when she didn't get picked up for the 2012 season.

She couldn't understand why she couldn't stick with a team, what else she could do to change that. She believed she had tried everything.

"Before Chicago, I thought about (giving up)," Quigley said. "When I got the call from Chicago, I thought I would go, but only because it's my hometown."

Quigley admits that if she had gotten a call from any other team, Los Angeles, New York, anywhere else, she would have likely said thanks, but no thanks. She was tired of getting her hopes up, joining a team and then being released.

What a twist of fate that the call came from Chicago, the one and only place Quigley would entertain for one last shot at the WNBA.

In Chicago, Quigley was not only home, she actually found a home. A real home.

With that one phone call, Quigley went from nearly giving up on her WNBA dream, to literally living the WNBA dream.

In 2013, Quigley's first season in Chicago, she came off the bench and played in all 34 games, equaling the number of games she had played in all four of her other WNBA seasons combined. She averaged 3.8 points per game for the Sky that season.

By 2014, Quigley blossomed into a legitimate weapon. A dangerous 3-point shooter, Quigley still came off the bench, but she could explode for big offensive games. She led the team in scoring nine times that season, and averaged 11.2 points per game. Ultimately, she was named the WNBA's Sixth Woman of the Year.

She ended up winning the same award the following season in 2015, averaging 11.1 points per game.

The last two seasons, Quigley has been a full-time starter for the Sky, has led the Sky in scoring (16.4 ppg in 2017 and 16.1 ppg this season), and has been named a WNBA all-star each season.

At the 2017 All-Star Game, Quigley won the 3-point shooting contest. This summer, she is the Sky's only all-star representative.

Who knows what Quigley would have been doing right now if that call back in 2013 had come from any other team but the Sky.

It's funny, and a little eerie, to think in those terms.

"Just a little bit," Quigley said with a wry smile. "But those days are behind me now."

And why are they? What's Quigley's take on why things finally clicked for her in Chicago?

"I think it's a combination of hard work and experience catching up with each other," Quigley said. "It was just a matter of when you get your opportunity, you perform."

All-star game: The WNBA's 15th All-Star Game will take place at 2:30 p.m. on July 28 at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

The game will be broadcast live on ABC Channel 7 as well as on Sirius XM NBA Radio.

pbabcock@dailyherald.com

Follow Patricia on Twitter: @babcockmcgraw

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