Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley understands the importance of youth sports programs and wants to reciprocate the effect they had on her growing up.
Quigley joined DICK's Sporting Goods Foundation's Sports Matter Day tour Thursday at Wintrust Arena to hand out donated sports equipment to hundreds of young athletes from local Chicago-based nonprofits.
Following an afternoon of running drills and team-building activities, Quigley said she hopes the kids find inspiration to learn any sport, even if it isn't basketball.
"I hope that just today they get a little bit inspired just by seeing us, cause I know I felt that when I was a kid," Quigley said. "Just inspired to go play, doesn't have to be basketball, but, you know, just to go be in some kind of team setting. Just so many different skills they can learn from it. Confidence, discipline, teamwork, working together. It just makes them feel good about themselves, so I just hope they can feel like that after today."
In her 10th season with Chicago, Quigley has been through the trial and tribulations of different Sky teams, seeing players come and go over the years. The Joliet native knows the discipline and teamwork it takes for a group to be successful.
After the Sky finished last season with a 16-16 record, Quigley and her teammates achieved great success in the playoffs and ended up winning the team's first WNBA title in franchise history. The Sky beat the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals at Wintrust Arena.
"It just felt like we were building something and everything kind of happened at the right time," Quigley said. "We just kind of clicked and kind of figured out how to win together last year which was the best feeling ever and something that we're gonna try to use this year. Use that experience we had in the playoffs last year to, you know, try to do it again."
The Sky bottled their late success last season and carried it over into this season, currently owning the best record (23-8) in the league. They were also the first team to clinch a 2022 playoff berth.
The Sky look to defend their title as playoffs begin on August 17.