Candace Parker

Infobox NBA Player

nickname = CP3
position = Forward
height_ft = 6
height_in = 4
weight_lb =175
league = WNBA
team = Los Angeles Sparks
number = 3
birth_date = birth date and age|1986|4|19
birth_place = city-state|St. Louis|Missouri
highschool = Naperville Central HS,
Naperville, Illinois
college = Tennessee
draft = 1st overall
draft_year = 2008
draft_team = Los Angeles Sparks
career_start = 2008
awards = USA Today High School Player of the Year (2003, 2004)
Naismith Prep Player of the Year (2003, 2004)
Gatorade High School Player of the Year (2003, 2004)
Wade Trophy winner (2007)
USBWA Player of the Year (2007)
WNBA MVP(2008)
Other Awards

Candace Nicole Parker (born April 19, 1986 in city-state|St. Louis|Missouri) is an All American basketball player for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. She was drafted to the team from Tennessee in 2008. She may be best known for being the first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game and the first woman to dunk twice in a college game —she set both milestones as a redshirt freshman on March 19, 2006. She also became only the second player to dunk in a WNBA game on June 22 2008.citenews|url=|title=Parker has opportunity to declare for '07 WNBA draft|publisher=Sports Illustrated|date=2007-03-22|accessdate=2007-03-28] cite news|last = Gutierrez|first = Melody| title = College stars boost WNBA draft suspense| newspaper = The Sacramento Bee|date = 2007-04-02|url =|archiveurl =|archivedate=2008-02-07|accessdate = 2007-04-04]

A uniquely versatile player, she is mainly a forward, but was listed on Tennessee's roster as a forward, center, and guard, like her good friend Michelle Obach. [cite web|url=|title=2006-07 Lady Vols Roster|accessdate=2007-03-29] She was a starter on the Lady Vols basketball team, winners of the 2007 and 2008 NCAA championships.

Parker's brother Anthony Parker plays for the NBA's Toronto Raptors. Candace Parker announced her engagement to Shelden Williams, who was a college basketball star for Duke University and currently plays for the Sacramento Kings of the NBA. [cite web|title=Lady Vol Candace Parker announces engagement|url=|accessdate=2007-05-09]

Playing career

High school

Like her elder brother Anthony, Parker attended Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Illinois and graduated in 2004. While in high school, Parker led her basketball team to state titles in 2003 and 2004 and amassed numerous accolades.

She is the only two time award winner of the "USA Today" Player of the Year, winning the award in 2003 and 2004. Parker won the Naismith and Gatorade Awards as national basketball player of the year during her junior and senior years. She won the Gatorade award again in her senior year to join only Marion Jones and LeBron James as the only back to back winners.

She was a consensus pick as player of the year in Illinois in 2002, 2003, and 2004. A four year member of the All-State first team, Parker compiled a school-record 2,768 points (22.9 points per game) and 1,592 rebounds (13.2 rebounds per game), while starting 119 of the 121 games in which she played. She also became the first women's player to announce her NCAA women's basketball verbal commitment live on ESPNEWS.

The summer after her junior year in high school, Parker tore her ACL in her left knee in a summer league game. She returned in December of her senior year and went on to lead her school to its second consecutive state title.

In August 2004, the "CP-3"s, Team USA roommates Candace Parker and Courtney Paris, led the undefeated USA Junior World Championship team to a Gold medal with 16.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 15.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg respectively. While training, Parker had a relapse of knee pain and was required to undergo surgery in her lateral meniscus and the lateral articular cartilage in her left knee.

lam Dunk contest

In March 2004 Parker won the Slam Dunk contest of the McDonald's High School All-American Game in Oklahoma City. [cite news|url=|title=Parker's dunk title a win for women's hoops] Only a 17-year-old high school senior, Parker outlasted five male competitors for the title, including future 2005 NBA Slam Dunk contestant JR Smith and champion Josh Smith. When her remaining male competitors missed their much more difficult dunks, Parker only had to put it through the hoop to win. The competition has been won in past years by Vince Carter, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.

College years

Parker attended the University of Tennessee. She took a medical redshirt her freshman year of college, and started for the Tennessee Lady Vols during the 2005-06 season. She was the Southeastern Conference "Rookie of the Year" (Coaches and AP) and helped the Lady Vols win the 2006 SEC Tournament Championship. With 17 seconds remaining in the 2006 SEC Tournament Championship Game against LSU, Parker hit the game-winning shot. She was named Tournament MVP and was named to the 2006 Kodak All-America team, making her one of the few to ever receive the award as a freshman. However, in the NCAA Tournament regional finals against North Carolina, Parker got in early foul trouble and was out of the game for much of the first half. The University of North Carolina ultimately won the game.

Parker was the only college player named to the USA squad for the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women in Brazil. The USA squad finished in third place.

On January 28, 2007, in an away game against Alabama, Parker scored her 1,000th career point as a sophomore making her the fastest player in Lady Vol history to do so. She did it in 56 games, besting Chamique Holdsclaw's mark of 57 games and Tamika Catchings's of 58 games. On March 1, at the SEC tournament in Duluth, Georgia, Parker was named the 2007 SEC Player of the Year. On April 3, she led the Lady Vols to their first National Championship victory since 1998 with 17 points, and earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player honor.

Parker announced on February 21, 2008 that she would forego her final season of eligibility at Tennessee in order to focus on the 2008 Olympics and pursue a professional career. She graduated with her incoming class in May 2008. [cite press release|url= |title=Parker to pursue Olympics and pro career |publisher=University of Tennessee Women's Athletic Department |date=2008-02-21 |accessdate=2008-03-03] Dead link|date=September 2008 A sports management major who had a 3.35 grade point average as of December 2007, she was named University Division Academic All-American of the Year in women's basketball for 2008 by the College Sports Information Directors of America.cite web|url= |title=Parker is Academic All-American of the Year |author=College Sports Information Directors of America |publisher=University of Tennessee Women's Athletic Department |date=2008-02-26 |accessdate=2008-03-03] Dead link|date=September 2008

On April 8, 2008, Parker led the Lady Vols to their second straight NCAA women's title, the eighth championship for Tennessee. She was also named the MOP for the second consecutive tournament, joining Cheryl Miller, Chamique Holdsclaw and Diana Taurasi as the only female players to have done so. She won the honor despite suffering a dislocated shoulder during her team's regional finals win, but returned (wearing a long-sleeve T-shirt under her jersey) and led the Lady Vols to the title. While at Tennessee, she complied a record of 101 wins and 10 losses.


Just after the NCAA victory, Parker was selected as the first pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks. She plays alongside Lisa Leslie and former Tennessee teammate Sidney Spencer. Shannon Bobbitt (Parker's teammate at Tennessee) joined the Sparks after being drafted in the second round. [cite news|url= |title=Summitt wins again when it matters |author=Jeré Longman, with The AP | |date=2008-04-09 |accessdate=2008-04-09]

On May 17, 2008, in her debut game against the Phoenix Mercury, she recorded 34 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Her 34 points broke the record for a rookie in a debut game. The record was previously held by Cynthia Cooper, who scored 25 points in her debut game in 1997. [cite news|url=|title=Parker scores 34, the most ever in a WNBA debut|author=Bagnato, Andrew|date=2008-05-17|accessdate=2008-05-17|work=Associated Press|publisher=Google] Dead link|date=September 2008On June 22, 2008, she became the second woman in WNBA history-after her teammate Lisa Leslie-to dunk during a regulation WNBA game against the Indiana Fever. The dunk was on the same basket as the dunk of her teammate. [ [ Candace Parker gets WNBA's second dunk in Sparks' 77-63 victory - Los Angeles Times ] ]

Parker was named the Hanns-G 'Go Beyond' Rookie of the Month for the month of May 2008. [cite web|url=|title=Parker Named Hanns-G Rookie of the Month] She received the same honor for July 2008.

On October 3, 2008, she was named the Hanns-G 'Go Beyond' Rookie of the Year as well as Most Valuable Player for the 2008 WNBA season. She became the first WNBA player to win both the Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player in the same season. [] In addition, she also joined Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld as the only professional american basketball players to win both ROY and MVP trophies in the same season.

The Brawl

On July 22, in a game on the road against the Detroit Shock, Parker was involved in a bench-clearing brawl with 4.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of the Sparks' 84-81 victory. The brawl began when Parker and Shock forward Plenette Pierson tangled arms as they headed up the floor following a successful free throw by Sparks guard Marie Ferdinand-Harris, causing both players to tumble to the floor. Pierson quickly rose to her feet and moved aggressively toward Parker making contact with Parker's upper body with her knees. Parker then tackled Pierson to the ground and threw a punch. Ten players (five from each team) including Parker, Pierson, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Lisa Leslie and Shock assistant coach Rick Mahorn were ejected for their actions. Parker was suspended for one game.


*Has 3 tattoos. A bible verse on her left wrist,a key on her right wrist, and a tattoo on her lower back. Shelden Williams has a lock on his right wrist.
*Parker and her fiance Shelden Williams always place their right hand (shooting hand) across their chest just below their left shoulder before they shoot free throws.


*1st WNBA Player To Win WNBA MVP and WNBA Rookie Of The Year Award in the same season.
*1st WNBA Player to Dunk in consecutive games.


High School

* All-Area Team (2001-2004: Chicago Sun Times, News-Gazette and Chicago Tribune)cite web|title="Player Bio - Candace Parker"|url=|accessdate=2007-02-25]
* All-State Team (2001-2004: AP, Chicago Sun Times, News-Gazette and Chicago Tribune, IBCA)
* Gatorade Illinois State Player of the Year (2002-2004)
* Illinois Miss Basketball (2002-2004)
* Illinois State Player of the Year (2002-2004: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Daily Herald, Naperville Sun and Champaign Gazette)
* First Team All-American (2002-2004: Nike, 2000-2004: Parade, Street & Smith's, USA Today, 2004: McDonald's)
* Second Team All-American (2002: Parade, Student Sports)
* Third Team All-American (2002: USA Today)
* Fourth Team All-American (2002: Street & Smith's)
* Naismith Prep Player of the Year (2003-2004)
* USA Today High School Player of the Year (2003-2004)
* 2004 Powerade Jam Fest Winner
* Gatorade High School Player of the Year (2003-2004)
* 2004 Women's Sports Foundation High School Athlete of the Year


* 2006 NCAA Cleveland Regional All-Region Team
* 2006 SEC Tournament MVP
* 2006 SEC Freshman of the Year
* 2006 All-SEC First Team
* 2006 All-SEC Freshman Team
* 2006 SEC Freshman of the Week (12/5, 12/19, 1/10, 1/16)
* 2006 SEC Player of the Week (1/16)
* 2006 Lady Vol Athlete of the Week (11/28, 1/16)
* 2006 Lady Vol Athlete of the Month (January)
* 2006 AP Second Team All-American
* 2006 Kodak All-American
* 2007 SEC Player of the Week (2/12, [cite web|title=CANDACE PARKER NAMED SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK|url=|accessdate=2007-02-25] 3/1)
* 2007 SEC Player of the Yearcite web|title=2007 SEC Women's Basketball Awards Announced|url=|accessdate=2007-02-28]
* 2007 First Team All-SEC
* 2007 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament - Dayton Regional Most Outstanding Player. [cite web|url=|title=Parker, Tennessee thrash Ole Miss to reach Final Four|accessdate=2007-03-27]
* 2007 1st Team All-American (AP, [cite web|url=|title=Paris, Latta head All-America squad|accessdate=2007-03-29] Kodak, [cite web|url=|title=Candace Parker named Kodak All-American|accessdate=2007-03-31] John R. Wooden [cite web|url=|title=Candace Parker named John R. Wooden All-American|accessdate=2007-04-04] Dead link|date=September 2008)
* 2007 Wade Trophy Winner [cite web|url=|title=All CP3 All The Time|accessdate=2007-03-31]
* 2007 USBWA Player of the Year [cite web|url=|title=Parker named to USBWA Player of the Year|accessdate=2007-03-31]
* 2007 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Playercite web|url=|title=CANDACE PARKER NAMED 2006-07 HONDA AWARD WINNER|2007-04-17]
* 2007 John R. Wooden Award Winner
* 2007 Basketball Honda Sports Award Winner
* 2008 Academic All-America of the Year, University Division
* 2008 Associated Press Player of the Year [cite web | url = | title = Candace Parker named AP Player of the Year | publisher = AP | date = 2008-05-04 | accessdate = 2008-05-04] Dead link|date=September 2008
* 2008 Naismith Trophy Winner [cite web | url = | title = Candace Parker named Naismith Player of the Year | publisher = ESPN | date = 2008-07-04 | accessdate = 2008-07-04]
* 2008 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player
* 2008 John R. Wooden Award winner
* 2008 Basketball Honda Sports Award Winner
* 2008 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - Oklahoma City Region Most Outstanding Player
* 2008 Player of the Year [cite web|url=|title=Parker wins second straight John Wooden Award| accessdate=2008-04-12]
* 2007–08 Honda-Broderick Cup winner [cite news|url=|title= Basketball Star Candace Parker Awarded 2008 Honda-Broderick Cup|publisher=Business Wire|date=2008-06-23|accessdate=2008-06-23]
* 2007-08 SEC Female Athlete of the Year [ [ ] ]
*2008 BET Female Athlete of the Year [cite press release|url=|title=BET Awards 2008 Winners]
*2008 Best Female College Athlete ESPY Award winnercite news|url=|title=Parker wins two ESPY Awards; Summitt named top coach]
*2008 Best Female Athlete ESPY Award winner


*2008 Most Valuable Player Award winnercite press release|url=|title=Sparks' Parker wins rookie of year, MVP honors]
*2008 Rookie of the Year Award winner

Popular culture references

In the first verse of "Starter" on the Wu-Tang Clan's 8 Diagrams album, Streetlife raps about his admiration for Parker, who can "take flight like Skywalker." He mentions many of her accolades like her 4.0 GPA as a student-athlete and her "McDonald's classic no-look dunk through the basket."


External links

* [ Official Tennessee player profile]
* [ Candace Parker Profile] VIBE

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