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Candace Parker

  • As of Jan. 5, 2021

During Candace Parker’s decade-long career with USA Basketball, she earned a pair of Olympic gold medals, as well as gold medals at the 2007 FIBA AmeriCup and the 2004 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, while returning home with a bronze medal from the 2006 FIBA World Cup.

Parker competed on a pair of USA junior teams in 2003 and 2004 before being called up to the USA National Team for the April 2006 Opals World Challenge, where she was the youngest of three then-collegians on the team. Parker’s 18.0 points a game paced the USA to the tournament title and helped place her on the all-tournament team.

In aiding USA squads to Olympic, World Cup and AmeriCup medals, Parker helped the red, white and blue to a 29-1 record in those four events, as well as a 21-1 exhibition slate during her time on the USA National Team.

The No. 1 selection in the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, Parker is a two-time WNBA MVP and earned 2016 WNBA Finals MVP honors after leading the Sparks to the WNBA crown. The 2020 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, Parker listed on the WNBA Top20@20, a compilation of the top 20 players in the first 20 years of the league, in 2016. She is a six-time All-WNBA first team and three-time All-WNBA second team honoree and six-time WNBA All-Star. Parker pulled off an incredible double in her first year in the league by earning both 2008 WNBA Rookie of the Year and WNBA MVP accolades.

After sitting out the 2004-05 seasons recovering from a pair of knee surgeries, Parker starred for three seasons at the University of Tennessee before declaring for the draft in 2008. During her three years on the court, she led Tennessee to a 101-10 record (.910), two Southeastern Conference Tournament titles (2006, 2008), one SEC regular season crown (2007), three NCAA Tournaments, a pair of NCAA titles (2007, 2008) and the 2006 Elite Eight.

The unanimous 2008 National Player of the Year, in 2007 Parker became the youngest woman ever to earn the Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden Player of the Year awards.

The youngest of three siblings, Parker grew up in Naperville, Illinois, where she was the 2003 and 2004 Naismith, Gatorade and USA Today National Prep Player of the Year while competing for Naperville Central High School.

Parker resides in Los Angeles with her daughter, Lailaa, who was born in May 2009.

USA Basketball Notes 

  • Honors: 2008 FIBA Diamond Ball All-Tournament Team and 2006 Opals World Challenge All-Tournament Team.
  • Gold Medals: 2008 and 2012 Olympics, 2007 FIBA Americas Championship and 2004 Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament (U18).
  • Bronze Medal: 2006 FIBA World Cup.
  • International Tournament Titles: 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational, 2008 FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament and 2006 Opals World Challenge.
  • Played on a pair of USA junior teams in 2003 and 2004 before being called up to the USA National Team for the April 2006 Opals World Challenge. Since then, she helped the USA earn a pair of Olympic gold medals, the 2006 FIBA World Cup bronze and 2007 FIBA Americas Championship gold medal while tallying a 29-1 record; also helped the USA roll up a 21-1 exhibition slate during her time on the national team.
  • Was a finalist for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team.

  • Competed for the USA National Team during its 2015 European Tour. Averaged a team-high of 12.3 ppg. and a team-high 9.0 rpg. in helping the USA to a 4-0 record.

  • At the 2012 Olympics, ranked fourth among all competitors in the 12-team field for rebounds (7.8 rpg.) and posted team-highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds in the gold medal victory over France.
  • Owns the U.S. Olympic single-game record for blocked shots with four against Angola in 2012.
  • In the U.S. Olympic record book, ranks fourth on the all-time single competition list for blocked shots with 10 in 2012. Among all-time leaders, ranks sixth for rebounds with 98 rebounds secured and second for blocked shots with 14 in 2008 and 2012.
  • Youngest member and only collegiate player on the 2006 USA World Cup Team; eclipsed three-time Olympian Katrina McClain's all-time USA World Cup record for blocked shots with 14 (was 11) and lists second for blocked shots averaged (1.6 bpg.).
  • The youngest member and one of just three returning collegians named to the 2006 USA National Team that won the Australia-hosted 2006 Opals World Challenge; finished as the USA's leading scorer (18.0 ppg.).
  • Member of the 2004 USA Junior World Championship Qualifying Team (U18) that went 5-0 and captured the gold medal in Puerto Rico.
  • Member of the 2003 USA Youth Development Festival North Team that went 1-4 and finished in fourth place

Professional Notes 

  • Drafted: No. 1 in 2008 by the Los Angeles Sparks.
  • WNBA Top 20@20: 2016
  • WNBA title: 2016.
  • WNBA Finals MVP: 2016.
  • WNBA MVP: 2008, 2013.
  • All-WNBA first team: 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2020.
  • All-WNBA second team: 2009, 2015, 2018.
  • WNBA Defensive Player of the Year: 2020.
  • WNBA All-Defensive second team: 2012.
  • WNBA All-Star Game MVP: 2013.
  • WNBA All-Star Games: 2011 (injured), 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019.
  • WNBA Rookie of the Year & All-Rookie Team: 2008.
  • WNBA Rebounding Leader: 2008, 2009, 2020
  • EuroLeague Title: 2013.
  • EuroLeage Final Eight MVP: 2013.
  • In leading the Los Angeles Sparks to the 2016 WNBA title, averaged 15.3 ppg., 7.4 rpg. and 4.9 apg. during the regular season and 19.3 ppg., 8.7 rpg. and 3.2 apg. during the playoffs.
  • Competed six years (2009-10 to 2014-15) for UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia), where she helped lead Ekat to six EuroLeague Final Four finishes and the 2013 EuroLeague championship.
  • Missed 15 games of the 2011 season after being sidelined by a right knee injury on June 26; played in 10 games in 2010 before dislocating her left shoulder on June 13 and was out for the remainder of the season.
  • Averaged a league-best 9.8 rpg. in 25 games after giving birth to her daughter on May 13, 2009.
  • Garnered all 45 votes for 2008 WNBA Rookie of the Year honors after leading the league in double-doubles (17).
  • Led all 2008 WNBA competitors in rebounds, ranked fourth in points and second in blocks.
  • Recorded the best rookie debut in WNBA history; posted 34 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
  • On May 29 against the Indiana Fever tallied the first "5x5" performance in league history with 16 points, 16 rebounds, six blocked shots, five assists and five steals.

College Notes 

  • During her three-year collegiate career, led Tennessee to a 101-10 record (.910), two Southeastern Conference Tournament titles (2006, 2008), one SEC regular season crown (2007), three NCAA Tournaments, a pair of NCAA titles (2007, 2008) and the 2006 Elite Eight.
  • National Player of the Year (2008) including: Naismith Award, John R. Wooden Award, Sports Illustrated and ESPN.
  • Honda Award and USBWA Player of the Year (2007 2008).
  • Sports Illustrated, Associated Press and John R. Wooden All-America Team (2008).
  • Became the fourth player in NCAA Tournament history to be named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player twice (2007 and 2008), also was NCAA Regional MOP (2007, 2008).
  • CoSIDA Academic Athlete of the Year (2008).
  • The youngest woman ever to earn the Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden Player of the Year awards (2007).
  • SEC Player of the Year (2007), All-SEC first team (2006, 2007, 2008), SEC Tournament MVP (2006, 2008), SEC Rookie of the Year (2006).
  • Missed the 2004-05 season recovering from a pair of knee surgeries.

Personal Notes 

  • Born in St. Louis, Missouri, hails from Naperville, Illinois.
  • Has one daughter, Lailaa, with former husband Shelden Williams.
  • Serves as a studio analyst for CBS Sports and on NBA on TNT.
  • Parker and her daughter are part owners of Angel City FC, a Los Angeles-based soccer team that will begin play in the NWSL in 2022.
  • Daughter of Sara and Larry Parker, has two older brothers, Anthony and Marcus.
  • Brother Anthony, who played on the 1996 USA 22 And Under World Championship Qualifying Team that won a gold medal in Puerto Rico, is a nine-year NBA and six-year European pro league veteran.
  • Attended Naperville Central High School (Ill.), where she was the Naismith, Gatorade and USA Today National Prep Player of the Year (2003 and 2004), a three-time Gatorade Illinois State Player of the Year (2002, 2003 and 2004).
  • Graduated in May 2008 with a major in sport management and a minor in psychology from UT.

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USA Basketball Statistics

YEAR G/S FGM-FGA PCT 3PM-3PA PCT FTM-FTA PCT
REB/AVG
PTS/AVG
AST
BLK
STL
2012 OLY 8/3 38-75 .507 0-0 .--- 8-14 .571
62/7.8
84/10.5
16
10
4
2012 OLYx 5/5 19-41 .463 0-0 .--- 6-7 .857
34/6.8
44/8.8
7
4
7
2009 UMMC
1/ 1
3- 4
.750
0- 0
.---
2- 3
.667
3/ 3.0
8/ 8.0
1
0
0
2008 OLY
8/ 0
27- 44
.614
0- 1
.000
21- 31
.677
36/ 4.5
75/ 9.4
6
4
7
2008 OLYX
3/ 0
10- 16
.625
0- 0
.---
12- 13
.923
14/ 4.7
32/ 10.7
1
0
5
2007 TOA
5/ 5
29- 47
.617
0- 2
.000
11- 16
.688
20/ 4.0
69/ 13.8
4
4
12
2007 WNT
2/ 2
13- 24
.542
0- 0
.---
5- 6
.833
7/ 3.5
31/ 15.5
2
2
5
2006 WC
9/ 0
42- 72
.583
0- 0
.---
31- 47
.660
55/ 6.1
115/ 12.8
11
14
8
2006 WCX
1/ 0
0- 6
.---
0- 0
.---
1- 2
.500
5/ 5.0
1/ 1.0
0
3
0
2006 OWC
5/ 0
40- 58
.690
0- 0
.---
10- 20
.500
42/ 8.4
90/ 18.0
10
7
7
2004 JWCQ
5/ 5
34- 54
.630
1- 6
.167
14- 21
.667
44/ 8.8
83/ 16.6
24
12
17
2003 DF-N
4/ 4
19- 63
.302
1- 8
.125
24- 32
.750
43/ 10.8
63/ 15.8
8
9
4
Totals
56/25
274- 504
.544
2- 17
.118
145- 212
.684
365/ 6.5
695/ 12.4
90
69
76

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