Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley has been named the 2014 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year. Quigley received 26 out of a potential 38 votes from sports journalists across America to claim the award.
In her sixth WNBA season Quigley recorded career highs in points (11.2), rebounds (2.2), and assists (1.9). The Chicago area native was sixth best in the WNBA in free throw percentage (87%), and eighth best in three-point shooting (47%).
After receiving her award Quigley showed the basketball world why she deserved to be the Sixth Woman of the Year. In Chicago's 92-83 Game 2 loss to the Atlanta Dream in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, Quigley poured in 20 points in under 20 minutes off the bench on 7-of-12 shooting while going 5-for-6 from the free throw line. Quigley was the Sky's second best scorer behind Elena Delle Donne (22).
It should hardly come as a surprise to see Quigley playing so well as she has been invaluable for Chicago during the 2014 season. With Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles, Epiphanny Prince, Courtney Vandersloot, and Jessica Breland all missing significant court time Quigley has had to carry a heavier than normal scoring load for the Sky. Her teammates and coaching staff are appreciative and well aware of Allie's contributions.
"I'm ecstatic for Allie," Chicago Sky Head Coach and GM Pokey Chatman said. "We get to witness the hard work and how it paid off. For her to do that under the circumstances and the duress this team experienced when superstar players weren't available she went from position 2 to playing the 1, had so much pressure having to win every game and she never wavered. The reason Allie is so confident is because she can go 0-for-9 and you wouldn't know it by her body language or her face because she's put in so much work before practice, after practice, days off, abroad, at home -- it doesn't matter. It's just nice to bear witness to her success."
Swish Appeal spoke to Allie Quigley about her career year, the possibilities of a playoff rematch with the Indiana Fever, and being named the 2014 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year.
Swish Appeal: How does it feel to be named the Sixth Woman of the Year?
Allie Quigley: It feels amazing. It's something I didn't really expect or think about a lot but it makes me think of all the years I struggled and tried to work hard. I just want to thank my teammates and coaches for believing in me.
SA: Why has this been the best season of your WNBA career?
AQ: I think it's a combination of having experience and getting an opportunity and taking advantage of it. We had a lot of injuries this year so I got a little bit more minutes than usual and just took advantage of the minutes.
Allie Quigley wins Sixth Woman of the Year
Allie Quigley won the WNBA's Sixth Woman of the Year award in a landslide.
SA: How has playing for Pokey helped your game?
AQ: She's given me a chance, she's given me a lot of confidence, she always has positive things to say to me, and she thinks the world of me. If someone gives you confidence it's easy to play free and play with confidence.
SA: Does it make it even more special that your best season happened in your hometown of Chicago?
AQ: Yeah, of course. My family is at every game. My friends get to come and support me. It means a lot just to see them in the crowd and be able to do it at home.
SA: How difficult was it for you to play point guard when Sloot went down with an injury late in the season?
AQ: It was tough. I've been kind of working on it over the past few years. I've kind of been thrown into that over the past few years so I've had some experience with it. It's a whole other game of thinking and making sure everyone is in their spots and thinking the game a lot more.
SA: A lot of people view you solely as a jump shooter but you've been taking it to the basket, taking charges and doing all sorts of stuff. Do you feel like people are finally getting to see who Allie Quigley is now?
AQ: Yeah, I think so. In previous years I just kind of spotted up and stayed in the corner. Like I said, I got a little bit more minutes so I‘ve had to do a little bit more.
SA: Overall how challenging was it for the team to stay focused and make the playoffs with all the injuries and everything?
AQ: It was really tough just because it felt like we never really got in a rhythm and got a few wins in a row and start feeling good. We'd get a win, then a loss, a win, then a loss, win-loss, win-loss. We'd look at the standings and see we really had a shot so that helped us stay positive and know how good we really were and have faith in each other.
SA: How big was it for you guys to steal game 1 in Atlanta?
AQ: It was huge. I think it was a big key for us to make sure we stole that game and then we got to come back home, so I think it was huge.
SA: What's it going to take to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals?
AQ: I think it's going to take what we did in Game 1: a better first quarter, and we have to take care of the ball and rebound. They're a really good rebounding team and they get in the passing lanes a lot and get easy buckets off our turnovers so we have to take care of the ball.
SA: If you get to the next round you'll play Indiana. How will it be different from when you played them last year?
AQ: It's a whole new year. Right now we're just focused on Atlanta. We don't want to think about anything else but Atlanta.
For more on the series, check out our Dream vs. Sky storystream.