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Candace Parker is the new face of NBA 2K

“It was amazing, because over the years, female athletes haven’t been given the same treatment as male athletes.”
Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - “That past me would have been like, ‘wait what, I’m going to be on a video game cover?’” said WNBA all-star Candace Parker.

Parker is the first WNBA player to appear on the NBA 2K cover, a popular video game traditionally featuring only male athletes.

“As a kid growing up, you dream of having your own shoe and you dream of being a videogame,” Parker said. “Those are an athlete kid’s dream. I don’t take it lightly.”

The Chicago Sky forward owns two Olympic gold medals, has been selected to five all-star teams and was the first player to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season, just to name a few of her accomplishments.

“She’s a great woman, and you can see she’s a great mother,” Harlem high school girls’ basketball coach Beth Meyer said. “She’s a great leader. She’s a great teammate. She’s a fabulous basketball player, so to have a woman like that highlighted on such an elite game, that’s really cool.”

Meyer knows Parker on a deeper level. When Meyer was a freshman basketball player at Naperville Central High School, Parker was a senior.

“I like to say my claim to fame is she dunked over me,” Meyer said. “I was scout team defense, and she did her thing all the time.”

Meyer said there’s still a long way to go as far as even female representation in the sports world, but this is a huge step in jumpstarting female sports platforms and inspiring young girls everywhere.

“If she can be on a cover, maybe so can I someday, so hopefully you use it to inspire whatever your future endeavors are to dream big and to know that we can do it, and we should be able to do it,” Meyer said.

Meyer has seen first hand how her players are inspired by Parker’s ongoing legacy.

“It was amazing, because over the years, female athletes haven’t been given the same treatment as male athletes, so it opens eyes to people and gave opportunities to other female athletes,” said Harlem basketball shooting guard Julie Bailey.

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