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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Annie Costabile

Sky’s Kristine Anigwe gearing up for Eurobasket with Great Britain’s national team

Chicago Sky forward Kristine Anigwe poses for portrait during Chicago Sky media day at the Sachs Recreation Center in Deerfield, Illinois, Wednesday, May 10, 2023. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times (Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times)

ATLANTA — Kristine Anigwe is preparing for a dream opportunity, but it comes with sacrificing another.

Anigwe has been aiming to become part of the Great Britain women’s national team for years. She also has been working for years to establish herself on a roster in the WNBA. Now she finds herself accomplishing both at the same time.

‘‘It’s a full-circle moment,’’ Anigwe said before scoring 10 points in the Sky’s 83-65 loss Tuesday to the Dream. ‘‘This opportunity, I’ve been waiting about four years for. I have a huge opportunity to be an Olympian. When I was making that tough decision to go to Eurobasket, I knew I could potentially leave a spot on [the Sky]. But I hope I’ve done enough to stay and be part of this team still.’’

Anigwe will leave the Sky on Sunday to join Great Britain’s national team for Eurobasket. She is signed to a hardship-exception contract while Ruthy Hebard is on maternity leave and is taking a day-to-day approach to her future. Right now, she’s still with the Sky.

Sky coach/general manager James Wade has been aware since training camp that Anigwe would be away from the team from June 4 until potentially June 25 if she made the national-team roster. His decision to sign her despite her potential absence signals how much he values her skills.

‘‘It’s important that you’re supportive,’’ Wade said. ‘‘She’s trying to prioritize the WNBA as much as possible, and I thought that was important. I didn’t want to hinder her in any way.

‘‘My wife [Edwige Lawson-Wade] did it for a long time. She played on the French national team and always had to go back and forth. I know what it’s like, and I know how hard the decisions are.’’

Anigwe’s return will depend on Great Britain’s success in Eurobasket. She would return between June 18 and June 25, meaning she would miss six to eight games.

Catching up with Cheyenne

Cheyenne Parker once was considered a cornerstone piece in the Sky’s future. But when Wade signed Candace Parker in 2021, it meant parting ways with her.

When Wade had no room left under the WNBA’s salary cap to re-sign Cheyenne Parker, she signed a three-year deal with the Dream. In March, the team announced a contract extension that will keep her in Atlanta through the 2024 season.

Tanisha Wright was named the Dream’s coach before last season, marking a new era for the franchise. Parker is at the center of it.

‘‘It’s very surreal for me,’’ Parker said. ‘‘I went to high school here. To be back in this community with these people and to have such a big impact is very full circle. It’s exciting, and I’m honored to be part of [what the Dream is building].’’


Morgan Bertsch and Rebekah Gardner missed their second consecutive game with injuries suffered in the Sky’s loss last week to the Mystics.

Wade provided an update on both players, telling the Sun-Times that Bertsch suffered a sprained ankle and should be back in the next two to three games. Gardner, he said, will see doctors this week for a foot injury. She wore a cast on her left foot and walked with crutches during the Sky’s victory Sunday against the Wings.

‘‘We’re just trying to see the best course of action to take,’’ Wade said of Gardner’s injury.

Wade said he expects to have more information about Gardner in the next 24 to 48 hours.

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