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Chicago Sky celebrates first championship with triumphant parade, rally in Millennium Park: “We did it, all of you”

CHICAGO – After winning their first WNBA championship, there was only one thing left for Chicago Sky to do: swag surf.

Fans flocked to Michigan Avenue and Jay Pritzker Pavilion on Tuesday as the team showed off their new trophy to downtown fans, then led the crowd and local officials to a rally to promote the city’s first basketball championship in more than Celebrate 20 years.

Fans celebrated in their seats in the pavilion, turning Michigan Avenue blue and white as the champions marched through town. Coach James Wade lifted the trophy in the guide bus as Sky Center Stefanie Dolson took photos of fans and rocked the Olympic gold medal she won this summer.

Chance the Rapper, spotted playing the Sky playoffs, performed alongside Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Governor JB Pritzker, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton joined the team on stage.

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoHead coach James Wade holds the trophy during the rally to celebrate Chicago Sky’s inaugural WNBA Championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoStefanie Dolson cheers as she carries her Olympic gold medal during the rally to celebrate Chicago Sky’s inaugural WNBA championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoChicago Sky team swag is surfing with Chance the Rapper during the rally to celebrate their first WNBA championship on October 19, 2021.

It was the first championship parade and rally in Chicago since 2016 and the first basketball championship since the end of the Bulls dynasty in 1998. Pritzker presented Sky owner Michael Alter with a proclamation officially renaming Chicago “Sky Town” for the day .

Candace Parker’s daughter Lailaa watched from the front row as her mother paid tribute to the town for which she promised to bring home a title. Parker, who was a star player at Naperville Central, spent most of her professional career in Los Angeles before joining Sky this year.

“I remember watching the Chicago Bulls Parade and Chicago Bulls rally on TV and just dreaming of being in that moment,” said Parker. “I only dream of bringing a title to your hometown. And that with a special group in front of an emerged city. We showed up at Wintrust! ”

Lightfoot, who was also there when Sky took the title on Sunday, is already looking forward to further successes for the newest Chicago team to win everything.

“Thank you for being here to celebrate one of the most important moments in Chicago sports history,” Lightfoot told the crowd. “These are great leaders and we owe them our thanks, our hearts and, yes, a repeat for the next year.”

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoCandace Parker punches Chicago First Lady Amy Eshleman with his fist during the rally to celebrate the Chicago Sky’s inaugural WNBA Championship on October 19, 2021.

Young girls and boys skipped school and fans like Kenjrick Watson called out from work. Watson, a teacher at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, was an hour early before Wintrust to see the Sky Parade take off to the pavilion.

“Technically, I told my bosses that my stomach hurts,” said Watson. “But they said, ‘Yeah, have fun with the parade.'”

Fans raised signs saying “The Champs Are Here” and “The Women and the WNBA Deserve a raise”. Whitney Young’s girls’ basketball team came to the rally with matching T-shirts made by their trainer Krissy Harper on Monday and combined the Sky players with the school logo.

“Because we need the same juju that Sky had to win for us,” said Harper. “That same magic.”

Fans delighted Kahleah Copper with “MVP!” Chants as she took the microphone.

“I’d like to compliment the city of Chicago for welcoming us, for welcoming me – just a kid from North Philly,” said Copper. “The city of Chicago, you were all amazing. Thank you all for coming out and giving us the energy we needed during the playoffs and for really believing in us. And we did it, all of you. “

Wade told the crowd how he worked last year to get Parker to sign with the team for the chance to win a championship at home and enjoy an endless supply of portillos. Coincidentally, Parker took her teammates there to celebrate.

The job is done and the Sky are the top team in town.

“Remember the seat you are currently in,” Wade said to the crowd. “Because you will be sitting in the same next year.”

More photos from the parade and rally:

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoThe Chicago Sky cheers amid confetti during the rally to celebrate their first WNBA championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoFans cheer during the rally to celebrate Chicago Sky’s inaugural WNBA Championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoThe Chicago Sky team holds their trophy during the rally to celebrate their first WNBA championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoJazmyn Ratliff holds a sign during the rally to celebrate Chicago Sky’s inaugural WNBA Championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoRodney Spruill holds Rhema up during the rally to celebrate Chicago Sky’s inaugural WNBA Championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoDiamond DeShields films the parade during the rally to celebrate Chicago Sky’s inaugural WNBA Championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoMayor Lori Lightfoot presents a plaque during the rally to celebrate Chicago Sky’s inaugural WNBA Championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoDarienne Page holds baby Charlie Gibbs on her shoulders during the rally to celebrate Chicago Sky’s inaugural WNBA Championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoA fan holds a sign during the parade to celebrate Chicago Sky’s inaugural WNBA championship on October 19, 2021.Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club ChicagoA lion in front of the Art Institute dons the Chicago Sky jersey during the rally to celebrate the first Chicago Sky WNBA championship on October 19, 2021.

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• Chicago Sky wins first Chicago WNBA title: “Women’s basketball is here to stay”

• Candace Parker and The Chicago Sky celebrated the WNBA title with a Portillo’s Takeout Run

• WNBA stars Candace Parker and Allie Quigley performed in the Chicago area. Now they’re driving Sky’s championship run

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