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For Allie Quigley, deserved recognition in a tough season

It’s been a difficult summer for the Chicago Sky as they’ve struggled to keep up in one of the most competitive seasons in WNBA history. One bright spot? Chicago’s lone 2018 All-Star, Allie Quigley.

Allie Quigley will represent the Chicago Sky in her second WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday.
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

She is part of one of the best backcourts in the WNBA. She was recently bestowed the honor of league All-Star. She is well-acquainted with the city of Chicago. Allie Quigley, a veteran guard on the Chicago Sky, has enjoyed a noteworthy career, much of it in her own backyard.

Her stats speak for themselves: She averages 16 points per game, is a deadly 43.5 percent shooter from downtown and is third in the league with 57 three-point field goals. On the Sky, she pairs with Courtney Vandersloot to form a dangerous guard combo.

It’s no wonder, then, that Quigley will appear in her second WNBA All-Star Game this Saturday.

A second-round draft choice by the Seattle Storm in 2008, Quigley struggled to find her niche until 2013, the year she came to the Sky and soon emerged one of the better guards in the circuit.

She attended Joliet Catholic Academy just an hour outside Chicago, then had an excellent run at DePaul University in the city itself. At DePaul, Quigley played under Doug Bruno, a well-respected mentor in the game. Bruno even visits Sky practices fairly regularly.

“There are details and things he taught us in college that I think about as they come up in WNBA play,” Quigley said of the impact of Bruno’s tutelage.

Besides her smooth three-point shot and overall court savvy is the determination to win and her unwillingness to accept anything less. When the Sky were routed by the New York Liberty 107-84 on July 15, Quigley was one of the last to emerge from the Sky locker room, obviously owning her part of the loss.

Three weeks earlier, the Sky had easily handled the Liberty on this same court, then the third straight win for Sky coach Amber Stocks’ group. The victory indicated that the Sky were gaining momentum and on their way up.

But since then, they have struggled to post a victory, having won just 3 of their past 11 games.

“I thought we turned the corner,” Quigley said of the June 29 win at New York. “We were playing very well. Since then, we have been struggling and it is hard to figure why.”

One reason could be the landmine of talented opponents that a team must face with little to no rest in this compact season. Quigley sees this year’s WNBA at a talent zenith.

“You have veterans and a mix of very talented young players,” she said. “Sue Bird and Lindsay Whalen have been around quite some time and are still effective. Now you add players coming in like an A’ja Wilson and it makes for a very competitive league.”

Quigley would agree with the time-worn cliché that “there are no nights off” in the WNBA.

“The skill level has jumped collectively since I entered the league,” she said, reiterating that those young players coming on board are contributing to that spike.

Through the struggles in the Windy City, Quigley has brought her “A” game each night. It’s the only way she knows how to play: as a consummate competitor.

In addition to playing in the All-Star Game itself, Quigley will defend her 2017 three-point contest title at halftime, one area where she’s able to excel individually in a season fraught with team inconsistencies.

Facing the challenges of what she considers to most competitive WNBA season to date makes an All-Star selection extra special. In Quigley’s case, it’s also well-deserved.