As a matter of fact, Candace Parker is all the energy you need as you grow up! Sarcastic, confident, charismatic, and on-point, Parker is indeed the soul every lady relates to.
Just as she is rocking the stage today, she has been doing it ever since her debut back in 2008.
Candace is a basketball power forward to the unknown, featuring in the Chicago Sky of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
Furthermore, she has played for teams like Los Angeles Sparks, UMMC Ekaterinburg, Guangdong Dolphins, Fenerbahçe Istanbul, Xinjiang Tianshan Deers, and Chicago Sky.
Not to mention, Candace is also the only lady to have two Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year awards. Additionally, she has set the bar high by being the first lady to dunk in an NCAA tournament game.
Besides being a player, Candace is also an analyst for NBA games on TNT and NBA TV.
|Full Name||Candace Nicole Parker|
|Date of Birth||April 19, 1986|
|Birth Place||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Height||6’4″ (1.93 meters)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
|Father’s Name||Larry Parker|
|Mother’s Name||Natasha Parker|
|Siblings||Two older brothers; Anthony Parker and Marcus Parker|
|Education||Naperville Central High School|
University of Tennessee
|Spouse||Shelden DeMar Williams (2008-2016)|
|Kids||A daughter, Lailaa Nicole Williams|
|Position||Power Forward / Center / Guard|
|Affiliations||Los Angeles Sparks|
Xinjiang Tianshan Deers
|Net Worth||Over $5 million|
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter|
|Merch||Los Angeles Trading Card, Candace Parker: Basketball Star|
|Last Update||December, 2022|
Candace Parker and Shaquille O’Neal
Currently, what’s hitting on the floor is the hilarious yet unique connection between Candace Parker and school-retired Lakers star, Shaquille O’Neal. Indeed, their regular appearance in the TNT postgame is a must-see.
As they both start as co-hosts in the game, they only have fun in their conversation. Not to mention, this short yet amazing conversation between them sparked all kinds of charisma.
“You were Defensive Player of the Year?” -Shaquille O’Neal
“Take the surprise out of your voice, Shaq.” -Candace Parker
Altogether with their words shared, Shaq commented on how Candace bullies him in the set while laughing to his heart’s content.
Candace replied to the previous question during their conversation that she didn’t wish to lower the rims.
Furthermore, she also taught Shaq about basketball and its play during the program.
Candace Parker | Early Life, Family, and Education
Parker (fully named Candace Nicole Parker) was born on April 19, 1986, under Aries’ sun sign. Additionally, she is the youngest of three siblings and has two older brothers, Anthony Parker and Marcus Parker.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, her parents are Natasha Parker and Larry Parker. However, they later moved to Naperville, Illinois, at the age of two and later grew up there.
As a plus point, Candace is from a sports background as her father, Larry, used to be a college basketball player and even played at the University of Iowa. Later, Larry also coached basketball for 12 years of his life.
Well, among her two older brothers, Anthony, was a USA Basketball player who served nine years in the NBA and six years in Europe. While her other older brother, Marcus, is a doctor.
Introduction to Basketball
As a matter of fact, the Parker family is an avid fan of the Chicago Bulls. So, of course, Candace commenced playing ever since her early days and grew a passion for it.
However, she didn’t devote it right instantly as she doubted she could do any better than her father and brother.
Therefore, she first committed herself to soccer, playing it till grade eight. That was when her parents convinced her to move towards basketball. As her father coached her, he recalls stating she was always the one with questions.
In fact, during the tenure when she left basketball, she was only with volleyball and soccer. Back then, as a child, she had a little sports basket with the Nerf ball for her practice.
“She was always head and shoulders taller than most of the kids in her school, including the boys. So when you show that you can really play, and she played on a traveling team for us, then all of a sudden, I think it really made a big difference. And that’s how she ended up being who she is.”
As a matter of fact, Parker attended Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Illinois. She had always aspired to be different; thus, she took almost everything as a competition during the days, even if it wasn’t.
Back then, she started dunking way early than the boys. She would even have a dunk contest against them and took them over.
Her first dunk was as a sophomore on December 27, 2001, which became the first dunk by a female in Illinois.
Following it, she took the victory in the slam dunk contest at McDonald’s All-American Game. As a high schooler, Parker led her team to Class AA state titles in 2003 and 2004.
Advancing on, she is also the only one to bag the USA Today High School Player of the Year two times. Her high school life is almost a walk with awards due to all the accomplishments she has.
She has claimed the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award, Gatorade Female Basketball Player of the Year Award, and Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year during her tenure.
To add to it, she also holds WBCA All-American, McDonald’s All-American, and a gold medal in the USA Junior World Championship team.
By the end of her tenure in Naperville, Parker maintained a school record of 2,768 points, and 1,592 rebounds while starting 119 of the 121 games.
In 2004, Candace Parker committed to the University of Tennessee after announcing it during her senior year on November 11, 2003.
Right then, she was marked as the first woman in history to promote oral commitment live on the network.
However, she was out of the 2004 season due to her knee injury and started in 2005 as a redshirt. Initially, she starred in the forwarding, center, and guard position and then posted the foremost dunk made by a lady in the NCAA tournament game.
As a freshman, she claimed the SEC Rookie of the Year while leading her team to win the 2006 SEC tournament championship.
Likewise, Parker also became the only college player in the USA squad for the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women in Brazil.
Moving to her sophomore days, she again bagged the SEC Player of the Year and led the team to SEC Player of the Year.
She had 1,000 career points before it, which tagged her as the fastest player in Lady Vol history to do so.
By the end of her tenure, she had also gained the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honor two times. Following it, she announced to forgo her final season in Tennessee.
Thus, as a sports management major, she graduated from Tennessee in 2008 with a 3.35 GPA.
As for her game statistics, she posted an average of 19.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.9 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game.
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Candace Parker | Professional Career
Right after her graduation, Parker enrolled herself in the 2008 WNBA Draft. During the time, the Los Angeles Sparks drafted her as the first overall pick in the first round.
Los Angeles Sparks
Later, Parker had her professional debut match against the Phoenix Mercury on May 17, 2008. As a rookie, she surpassed the rookie record of 25 points in the debut game with her own 34 points.
Furthermore, Candace is also the first player to dunk twice in their WNBA career. Not to mention, she took over both the Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player awards in the same season.
A season later, Parker faced downs at times, and after her rookie contract expired, she re-signed with the team in 2012.
In the meantime, she won the WNBA All-Star MVP and the 2013 WNBA Most Valuable Player award. Hence, she became the fifth player to have multiple WNBA awards.
After the team’s coach was changed in 2015, Brian Agler took over as the new coach. Right then, Parker maintained a career-high 6.3 assists per game and stood as the first in the league.
In 2016, Parker again re-signed her contract as an unrestricted free agent. By the end, she stood as the league’s best 20 players ever and was announced so during the WNBA’s twentieth anniversary.
Again, she dealt a multi-year contract with the Sparks, which held her till 2020. During her tenure, she became the league’s sixth player to have a triple-double with a career-high 11 assists.
In 2018, Parker showcased the best stat line in the WNBA history with 21 points, ten assists, nine rebounds, four steals, and two blocks. In 2020, Parker gained the first Defensive Player of the Year award.
Playing for 13 seasons with the Sparks, her long journey ended in 2021 as she dealt a 2-year deal with the Chicago Sky.
As she started as an unrestricted agent, Parker believes she is back to her home now, as she pairs with the Chicago Sky.
USA Basketball and International Arena
Candace Parker first debuted in the USA Basketball through the under-18 teams in August 2004. Back then, she led her team to the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.
Similarly, she held victories for USA Basketball over Australia in 2008 and for France in 2012. Right then, she has also been a part of the 2009vUSA Basketball Women’s National Team training camp.
During the camp, she was selected to travel around Ekaterinburg, Russia, for the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational. Even during their time off, Parker has played for UMMC Ekaterinburg of the Russian League.
Alongside that time, she bagged five wins for the team and even appeared in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics. However, she later declined the 2017-2020 national team training camp.
At the same time, she signed with Guangdong Dolphins to replace Yelena Leuchanka in the 2016 WNBA off-season.
After the season, she signed to play for Fenerbahçe Istanbul of the Turkish League and the Xinjiang Magic Deer of the Chinese League.
Tribute to Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt
In Late June 2016, legendary Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt took her last breath at 64 from Alzheimer’s disease. On that very night, Parker produced excellent gameplay for the team and later dedicated her games to Pat.
At the time, she made sure she wore the orange jacket and a shirt featuring coach Pat. Indeed, Pat had a special place in Parker’s life; thus, she always remembers her on any occasion.
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Will Candace Parker play at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
No, the two-time Olympic Gold medalist will not be playing for the US women’s basketball team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
After she was left off of the 2016 roster, the WNBA player announced in 2018 that she would never play for the US National team again. Moreover, it was for the good that she was left off in 2016 as she went on to win the WNBA Championship.
At the time, she expressed how surprised and disappointed she was, considering that she was in good health and recovered well from her injuries. However, this time the two-time WNBA MVP is not much surprised by the roster announcement.
Furthermore, she shared her frustration with many other well-deserving players like Elena Delle Donne and Nneka Ogwumike being left of the 2020 Tokyo roster. Parker said,
“I know there are a lot of deserving women, but how many times are we going to say something is unfair, right? How many times are we going to say it’s not politics? Like, I think we all know that.”
She also reached out to Nneka and told her how it sucked that she was the only MVP who had not made it to the US national team. Hence, Candace also said that the unfairness is why she is commentating at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics rather than playing.
Yes, Parker will be in Japan for the Olympics but will cover the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as a studio analyst for NBC. She will also be joined by Kara Lawson and Vince Carter, Olympic gold medalists, and broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald.
Besides that, NBC Olympics Vice President Rebecca Chatman expressed her excitement over having three Olympic gold medalists in NBC’s commentary team for the Tokyo 2020.
Candace Parker | Pregnancy and Injuries
During Parker’s high school phase, she first struggled with knee pain, for which she underwent surgery. Back then, she had done surgery for both the lateral meniscus and the lateral articular cartilage in her left knee.
In January 2009, Parker missed the first eight games of the 2009 WNBA season due to her pregnancy with her daughter, Lailaa Nicole Williams. Tina Thompson and Betty Lennox helped cover her position during her absence until she was back on July 5, 2009.
In June 2010, Candace Parker struggled with a dislocated left shoulder while grabbing a defensive rebound at 2 minutes 55 seconds.
Apparently, it’s the same injury that has been bothering her since her high school days.
Also, her shoulder injury missed her out for a whole season after only playing for ten games.
The same year with MRI, Parker suffered from a torn meniscus in her right knee. Due to her injury, she was absent from the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game.
Additionally, she had taken a break in 2015 after her low career point in 2014. At the same time, 2014 was also the same year when Williams Group Holdings took hold of the Sparks’ ownership.
Likewise, in May 2019, Candace suffered a hamstring injury in her left leg during the preseason games. Back then, she missed around 3 to 4 weeks of gameplay.
Back in 2020, Parker had let down the chance to enter the first and second WNBA All-Defensive Teams.
Thus, it created many controversies as the media wanted her in the Defensive Player of the Year Award while coaches wanted her on the All-Defensive Teams.
Candace Parker | Achievements
With more than a decade’s journey in her resume, Candace Parker stands as one of the most respected women in the WNBA. Furthermore, she is a versatile player with many achievements to date.
- WNBA champion and Finals MVP(2016)
- 2× WNBA MVP (2008 & 2013)
- 5× WNBA All-Star (2011, 2013, 2014 & 2017–2018)
- WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (2020)
- 2013 WNBA All-Star Game MVP
- WNBA Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team (2008)
- 6 Times All-WNBA First Team (2008, 2012–2014, 2017 & 2020)
- 3 Times All-WNBA Second Team (2009, 2015 & 2018)
- 2 Times WNBA All-Defensive Second Team (2009 & 2012)
- 2016 – WNBA Top 20 at 20
- 5 Times Russian National League champion (2011–2015)
- 4 Times Russian Cup winner (2011–2014)
- EuroLeague champion (2013)
- 2 Times NCAA champion (2007 & 2008)
- AP Female Athlete of the Year (2008)
- 2007 & 2008 – 2 Times USBWA College Player of the Year
- Naismith College Player of the Year (2008)
- 2 Times John R. Wooden Award (2007, 2008)
- Wade Trophy (2007)
- 2 Times Honda Sports Award for basketball (2007, 2008)
- Honda-Broderick Cup (2008)
- SEC Rookie of the Year (2006 & 2007)
- Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year (2004)
- WBCA All-American and McDonald’s All-American (2004)
Candace Parker | Net Worth, Salary, and Endorsements
At present, the WNBA star, Candace Parker, is estimated to have a net worth of over $5 million, with a base salary of $190,000.
Furthermore, she and her daughter, Lailaa, as part of the ownership group of Angel City FC. To elaborate, Angel City is a Los Angeles-based team for the National Women’s Soccer League in 2022.
Not to mention, she also earns enough from brands such as Gatorade, Budweiser, Addidas, Pro last, Beats by Dre, Mixed Chicks, and more.
Besides, she has helped many companies with donations like Kay Yow Foundation, and Randy Foye Foundation, to name a few.
In December 2020, Candace Parker bought a $4 million mansion in the neighboring San Fernando Valley community of Tarzana.
Apparently, the 6,300-square-foot mansion stands will have tall orange gates with a three-car attached garage for additional parking.
Additionally, Candace has planned a bright-colored scheme in the mansion and plank hardwood floors. It also includes sunny backyards, a saltwater pool with an inset spa, a pool house, and a half-court basketball court.
In total, it consists of five bedrooms with ensuite baths.
Candace Parker | Personal Life
Parker is an independent lady with a fire of determination in her soul. As a matter of fact, she was named to People’s 100 World’s Most Beautiful People list on May 7, 2007.
Currently, Candace resides in Los Angeles. Not to mention, she is a huge pet lover and owns a dog named Prada. Additionally, she also has a pet dog named Fendi, which is a St. Bernard mix.
Body Measurements and Workouts
Candace Parker is an athletically-toned lady with a slim figure. At present, she stands at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 meters) while weighing 175 lb (79 kg).
As for her appearance, she is a tan-skinned lady with long black hair and eyes of a similar color. Apparently, she keeps herself in shape with her timely workout schedule and diet plans.
As for her workout schedule, Candace does a lot for her leg strengthening, including box jumps, drop lunges, squats, and ladders. Likewise, she follows ab crunches, medicine ball twists and chops, and cone twists for her core strengthening.
Besides her workout schedule, Parker has a strict set of diets. In fact, she goes by the motto, “You are what you eat.” Having said that, Parker is more into whole grains while she cuts red meat to only once or twice a week.
Usually, she has four meals a day, starting her breakfast with oatmeal, cold cereal, or waffles. Following it, she munches into a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich with fruit.
Additionally, for her mid-day lunch, she grabs a pasta-based dish and juice. Thus, for the end, Parker devours a “big meal”: baked chicken, broccoli or carrots, and some kind of starch.
Currently, Candace Parker is single. Indeed, she previously married former basketball player and current assistant coach Sheldon Williams. The duo married on November 13, 2008.
Together, they had a daughter named Lailaa Nicole Williams, born on May 13, 2009. Furthermore, they even bought a 7,000-square-foot (650 square meters) home in Encino, Los Angeles, for $3.56 million, which she later sold after the divorce.
Overall, the profit earned from the sale was distributed among them. Unfortunately, the couple later split after eight years, citing “irreconcilable differences.” With the papers, Candace passed $400,000 of one-time payment as alimony.
Altogether, they split after their mutual consent and then took joint legal and physical custody of their daughter. They will be supporting the child in their own way.
Who is Shelden Williams?
Williams (fully named Shelden DeMar Williams) currently coaches the College Park Skyhawks of the NBA G League. Apparently, he formerly graduated from Duke University, where his #23 jersey was retired on January 28, 2007.
During his tenure at the university, Williams claimed the NABC Defensive Player of the Year Award twice. Additionally, he was also a member of the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Candace Parker | Social Media Presence
For further details on Candace’s personal life, you can check out his social media platforms. As for her Instagram account, she goes by her real name Candace Parker (@candaceparker), with 724k followers.
Likewise, you can check her Twitter account with the name Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker), with 342.1k followers.
Candace Parker | FAQs
Who does Candace Parker look up to?
As she has mentioned many times, Candace grew up looking at the Chicago Bulls and adored Michael Jordan as a fan. Not to mention, her all-time favorite athlete is Ron Harper.
Has Candace Parker retired?
No, the 2008 number 1 pick overall basketballer has not retired yet. She is healthy and energetic and one of the best basketball players in the WNBA.
Hence, WNBA teams are not quite ready to let go of the legendary player who is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist.