James Wade, head coach and general manager of the Chicago Sky, has been selected to coach the WNBA All-Star Game, which will be played at Wintrust Arena in Chicago on July 10. The Sky’s Candace Parker, now a seven-time WNBA All-Star was selected as an All-Star starter last week.
At 13-5, Wade has led the Sky to the best record in the Eastern Conference. He will coach Team Stewart, named after Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart.
Wade was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2019 and guided Chicago to its first WNBA Championship in 2021, making him just the third Black coach in the W ever to win a ‘chip.
“I know that my rise to this place is unique. It’s not common,” Wade told SLAM and the Black Coaches Association back in January. “Every time I go to work, every time I get up, I know I’m not doing it for me.”
He began his coaching career as an assistant with the San Antonio Stars from 2012 through 2016. Wade also served as a player development coach with the Minnesota Lynx, working directly with players like Sylvia Fowles (who will serve as co-captain at All-Star this year). He also coached multiple overseas teams before landing in Chicago in 2019.
“I was like, Hey, Syl, this is what’s going to happen. We’re gonna win MVP,” Wade recalled. “She was like, Let’s do it. I was like, We’re gonna win Finals MVP, we’re gonna win everything.”
Earlier this year, Wade was selected to join the USA Women’s National Team coaching staff for training camp and the FIBA World Qualifying Tournament.
“Very humbled to be a part of the All-Star game here in Chicago,” Wade recently tweeted. “So excited for my staff and our players chosen!!!”
The WNBA’s 12 head coaches will vote on the reserves which who be announced on Tuesday.