Candace Nicole Parker is an American professional basketball player in the WNBA. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a WNBA champion, and a two-time WNBA MVP. She also received numerous awards while playing for international leagues all over the world.
Parker had a spectacular regular-season rookie debut for the Los Angeles Sparks, scoring 34 points on May 17, 2008. She also had 12 rebounds and 8 assists - only two short of a triple-double.
Parker attended Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Illinois and graduated in 2004. She led her high school basketball team to state titles in 2003 and 2004, collecting various awards on the way.
The summer after her junior year in high school, Parker tore the ACL in her left knee in a summer league game. She returned in December of her senior year.
Parker made sport+B207s history in March 2004 by winning the High School All-American Game Slam Dunk contest. She beat five male competitors for the title.
In August that year, Parker injured her knee again, and had surgery once more, causing her to redshirt her first year in college for the Tennessee Lady Volunteers.
Parker played three years for the Lady Vols, leading them to the NCAA championship in 2007 and 2008. Although she was eligible to play another year for the Lady Vols, she was academically a senior, and elected to graduate with her class, and move into the WNBA.
Parker was the #1 pick in the draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, where she joined fellow Lady Vols alumnus Sydney Spencer, and Sparks star Lisa Leslie.
She is the first WNBA player to have won the WNBA MVP and the WNBA Rookie of the year award. Parker is also the first WNBA player to have dunk in consecutive games and scored most points with 34 as a rookie in her debut match.
In 2008, Parker has won various awards like the MVP award, Rookie of the year award, AP Female Athlete of the year, All-WNBA Team member and WNBA All-Rookie Team member. After giving birth, she missed the first eight games of the 2009 Season.
Despite missing several games, she was still named to the All-WNBA second team and the All-Defensive second team. She was only able to play for 10 games and missed the playoffs during the 2010 Season due to a shoulder injury. In 2011, she was hampered by yet another injury on her right knee.
Parker was able to play for the entire 2012 Season and was instrumental in bringing the team to the Western Conference Finals. She joined her first All-Star game and emerged as the MVP. Parker was also given the Most Valuable Player award in 2013.