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Candace Parker, who plays for the Chicago Sky of the Women's National Basketball Association, is the first woman athlete to feature on the front of an NBA 2K game.
"Chicago is where my family raised me; where I first learned the game of basketball; and where I first fell in love with this orange ball," said Parker when she signed a two-year contract to play on the team earlier this year. "I am excited to continue the next chapter of my career where it all began. To my new teammates, my new organization, and my new fans: I'm home." Parker plays as a centre-forward for Chicago Sky and it is her latest venture in an illustrious career spanning thirteen years. Interestingly, when she was younger, she worried that she would not be as skilled at basketball as her father Larry Parker and brother Anthony Parker. As a result, she stuck to association football until her family encouraged her to give the sport a try when she was in her early teens.
General manager and coach James Wade described Parker as "the Beyonce of women's basketball" and praised her evident talent and magnetic likeability both on and off the court. "You have the Beyhive, you have the Can-hive, the CP-hive." So, it's no wonder that 2K Games approached Parker to appear on its brilliantly colourful covers for NBA 2K22 which is set to launch on September 10th.
All this talk of art reminds me of those gorgeous custom works painted and penned over Apple products like Macbooks and iPhones. Check them out below, because they're one heck of a statement piece.
Parker is a five-time All-Star and has been elevated to the All-WNBA first team for a whopping six separate years. She won the title of WNBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, as well as being a five-time Russian National League Champion for UMMC Ekaterinburg across the years from 2011 to 2015. The Special Anniversary version of the game will be themed on the 75th anniversary of the NBA and feature work from artist Charly Palmer of Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on its cover.
"Representation matters, so this is a special moment of progress for the sport and the series," said Candace Parker in a statement on her appearance on the cover of NBA 2K22. "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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