By Stephen Litel
Three names were the highlight of the 2008 WNBA Draft: Candace Parker, Candice Wiggins and Sylvia Fowles. As Fowles prepares for life in Chicago, another Candice—Dupree, Fowles new teammate—finds herself ecstatic thinking of the future.
With the start of training camp quickly approaching, I caught up with Candice Dupree for a chat on the upcoming season.
Litel: How excited are you for the addition of Sylvia Fowles, as well as having a new head coach this season in Steven Key?
Dupree: “The addition of Sylvia will give us more depth in the post. This will be the tallest line up that we’ve had so it will help us a lot. As far as the coaching goes, I haven’t talked to Steve about what his approach or game plan is going to be. I know as an assistant coach he did a great job and expect nothing less from him as a head coach.”
SL: How much is this young team going to miss Stacey Dales, both on and off the court?
CD: “Stacey’s veteran leadership and intensity on the court is really going to be missed. She was one of the more vocal players on the team and used her voice to motivate those around her. Off the court she was the teammate that you could talk to when you felt like times were tough. Always has good advice when you need it.”
SL: What do Armintie Price (last year’s Rookie of the Year) and yourself in particular need to do in order to continue to develop your individual games, as well as elevating the play of your teammates?
CD: “Armintie did a great job her rookie season. In order for her to be in more successful she will need to have an outside shot and extend her range. As for myself, now that we have Sylvia, I’m thinking I won’t be on the block as much. My outside shot will need to be a little more consistent and I will need to be able to penetrate and get to the bucket.”
SL: You believe the playoffs are a possibility in 2008?
CD: “I definitely think this team has the potential to make the playoffs this year. With the exception of Stacey, we still have the same core and now have some great additions with Fowles and Chaney. More depth in the post and hopefully Chaney can fill in as our outside shooter.”
SL: The future looks good in Chicago, huh?
CD: “Yes, the future looks bright for the Chicago Sky. We have so much young talent on our team and I feel like the possibilities are endless. We just missed out on the playoffs last year. So this year will be an even more exciting year for us.”
SL: So, you want to go out on a limb and be bold enough to predict or guarantee a playoff berth for the Sky this year?
CD: “Predict a playoff berth? Come on now, Stephen. The season hasn’t even started yet, but be on the look out!”
If the future didn’t already look bright in Chicago with Dupree and Armintie Price, it does now with the young three-headed monster. The Sky’s the limit.
Ok, that last line was corny, wasn’t it?
Stephen Litel covers the Minnesota Timberwolves and the NBA for HOOPSWORLD and is a HOOPSWORLD Magazine contributor. Litel also covers the WNBA and Minnesota Lynx on “The Exchange” for Downtown Journal in Minneapolis, which can be found at www.downtownjournal.com.
Litel may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org