Candace Parker first woman on the cover of NBA 2k video game

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
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Candace Parker, now with the Chicago Sky, formerly with the Los Angelos Sparks. Turner Sports photo.

When the next installment of NBA 2K releases on September 10th, basketball fans will see a familiar face on the cover but one that will be making history in the process. Candace Parker will be the first female basketball player on the cover of the popular video game.

The Chicago Sky star will appear on the NBA 2K22 cover for the WNBA 25th anniversary special edition when it’s released September 10.

“I grew up a video game fanatic, that’s what I did, to the point where my brothers would give me the fake controller when I was younger where I think I was playing and I wasn’t,” Parker said. “All I wanted to do was just be like them. As a kid growing up, you dream of having your own shoe and dream of being in a video game. As an athlete those are a kid’s dreams. To be able to experience that, I don’t take it lightly.”

Candace Parker breaks barriers

“I think when you’re young and experience these types of things, you’re onto the next thing,” she said. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really savored the moment. I think it’s a benchmark of women’s basketball for sure. I think most importantly it speaks to visibility and how important it is and how important the WNBA is,” Parker said. “Everyone is looking at it that it’s impacting little girls, but it’s also impacting little boys and young men and young women and men and women. I think our game is different from the NBA; now it’s embracing that fact. Now more than ever, fans want to follow the athlete. Through social media, through video games, it’s adding and benefiting the WNBA.”

Parker is a two-time WNBA MVP, six-time all-star, one-time WNBA champion, one-time WNBA Finals MVP, and two-time Olympic gold medalist. 

Parker will be commentating the medal rounds at the Tokyo Games in a role she is excited for. “I remember Craig Sager interviewing me and it was unbelievable. The broadcast does amplify the game. To be a part of the experience of the Olympics, I’m really excited about.”

 Making history

The opening ceremony for the Olympics is this Friday July 23, and the games last until August 8. The WNBA is on a break for the next month while it’s players compete in the Olympics. Parker is using this time to not only represent the U.S.A., but for women all over.

“The cover of NBA 2K is such a pivotal platform to inspire young ballers, and I wanted future WNBA stars to know that they can be cover athletes too. Representation matters, so this is a special moment of progress for the sport and the series. To be part of this historic cover is a testament to the growth and rising popularity of the women’s game, and I’m proud to be the first female cover athlete to be the face of NBA 2K.”

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