by Nima Zarrabi / @NZbeFree

As Candace Parker wraps up her Gatorade G Series Pro shoot at the Long Beach Pyramid, I set up a flip cam on a tripod nearby as various employees from advertising agency TBWA Chiat Day, suspiciously eye me hard nearby. “Who is he and is that camera rolling?”

With the shoot complete, Candace walks over and we are introduced. She has me dizzy a few words after “hello.” “I had the purple ones like that on today,” she says, looking down at the adidas Nizza’s on my feet. “I love those shoes. They remind me of Chucks.”

And after a couple deep breaths, the discussion moves forward. It was early May and Candace was fresh from an off-season stint playing for a professional team in Russia, taking a much needed week off from the game. She was recharged and focused on performing at a high level for the upcoming WNBA season. It was great to sit down with her for a few minutes. She spoke about missing pizza and the various challenges while living abroad, her expectations for the Sparks season, life as a professional and the release of her adidas shoe. Her enthusiasm that day has clearly transferred onto the court.

Parker has put together some impressive individual statistics during the first eight games of the season, with per game averages of 23 points, 11 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. Despite her MVP numbers, the Sparks are off to a 2-6 start. The Sparks won at home against the Phoenix Mercury last night, lifted by a layup by Parker with three seconds left in the game for the 92-91 victory.

Check the video below for our sit down with Candace.