Chicago Sky once had three of the all time best, in points, rebounds and assists on the same roster

  • Courtney Vandersloot, now in her 10th season and all with the Sky, passed legendary point guard Becky Hammon and moved into the fifth spot on the WNBA's all-time assists list when she rolled up 4 assists against the Minnesota Lynx.

    Courtney Vandersloot, now in her 10th season and all with the Sky, passed legendary point guard Becky Hammon and moved into the fifth spot on the WNBA's all-time assists list when she rolled up 4 assists against the Minnesota Lynx. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 7/31/2020 7:21 PM

What a trio. And what a time in Chicago Sky history.

At one time, the Chicago Sky had on its roster, for two straight seasons, one of the best scorers in WNBA history, the top rebounder in WNBA history and one of the best playmakers in WNBA history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

During the summers of 2013 and 2014, Courtney Vandersloot was at point guard dishing dimes, Elena Delle Donne was at forward popping J's, and Sylvia Fowles was at center cleaning the glass.

In 2014, the Sky made its only trip to the WNBA Finals.

Now, all of that "Big Three" are either feverishly chasing their own bits of WNBA history, or have already caught it.

On Thursday, Vandersloot, now in her 10th season and all with the Sky, passed legendary point guard Becky Hammon and moved into the fifth spot on the WNBA's all-time assists list when she rolled up 4 assists against the Minnesota Lynx. Vandersloot now has 1,710 career assists.

Last year, Vandersloot set a league record by recording 300 assists, most assists in a season. Her 9.1 assists per game is also a WNBA record.

Meanwhile, and rather coincidentally that it happened in the same week, Fowles made history of her own on Tuesday when she set the WNBA's all-time rebounding record.

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Fowles, now with the Minnesota Lynx, grabbed 11 rebounds against the Seattle Storm to surpass former teammate Rebekkah Brunson for the top spot on the WNBA's all-time rebounding list.

Fowles, in her 13th season after spending her first seven seasons with the Sky, has 3,368 career rebounds. Fowles has averaged 9.8 rebounds per season over her career.

Delle Donne keeps pouring in the points from every spot on the floor: drives, jumpers, 3-pointers, free throws.

EDD has elected to sit out this season due to concerns about COVID-19 and its potential effects on her immune system that is compromised by a severe case of Lyme disease.

When healthy, Delle Donne is one of the best and already has 3,858 points in her seven-year career, the first four spent with the Sky.

Delle Donne, who was the WNBA's most valuable player last season in leading the Washington Mystics to the WNBA championship, has averaged 20.3 points per season over her career, and had a career-high of 23.4 points per game in 2015 with the Sky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Of course, Sky fans agonize remembering Fowles and Delle Donne asked to be traded from Chicago.

That's a big reason Vandersloot is such a fan favorite. Besides the fact that she is one of the best point guards in the league, "Slooty" has shown great loyalty to the Sky.

She has come of age in Chicago, evolving from a talented but sometimes overwhelmed rookie into one of the most savvy veterans in the WNBA.

Yet, she is still humble.

After taking over the No. 5 spot on the assists chart Thursday night, Vandersloot, a native of Seattle, sounded like she was a bright-eyed high school kid again.

"The players I looked up to (as a kid and young player) are all the ones in that top five," Vandersloot said. "I looked at the list today, and all those players, incredible point guards. Becky Hammon was so much fun to watch. Obviously coming from Seattle, Sue Bird is somebody that I've watched for a really long time and she's still doing it at such a high level. Ticha (Penicheiro) Diana (Taurasi), all of them are just incredible.

"I looked at the numbers and I was like, 'I'm never catching them!' This might be the only time, so I'm honored to be up on that list."

Solid start: The Sky is currently 2-1 down in the "Wubble," the players' nickname for the WNBA's Bubble, which is located in Bradenton, Fla.

A 2-point loss to Minnesota (83-81) on Thursday snapped the Sky's 2-game win streak to start the season that included a thriller in the opener last weekend that was settled on a made 3-pointer by former DePaul star Allie Quigley. Quigley drained her shot with 14.7 seconds left to give the Sky an 88-86 win over the Las Vegas Aces.

The Sky then got a big 18-point win (96-78) over Los Angeles Tuesday behind 21 points and 9 rebounds from Kahleah Copper and 21 points and 8 rebounds from Azura Stevens and 11 points and 10 assists from Courtney Vandersloot.

There is only one undefeated team left in the WNBA, the Washington Mystics, and the Sky's next game is 5 p.m. Saturday against them.

Twitter: @babcockmcgraw

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