It is often said that patience is a virtue. Mix that patience with a little bit of persistence and the time will come for one to thrive.
Well, that time has come for Chicago Sky rookie forward Robyn Parks.
As the regular season comes to a close with the Sky fighting tooth and nail to secure a playoff spot, Parks has begun to showcase herself as a rising star with the ability to contribute when presented the opportunity. To say the least, she has come a long way from playing a mere eight minutes in her WNBA debut, a Chicago win against the Phoenix Mercury on May 21.
Since then, Parks has emerged as a major player coming off a Chicago bench that has been affected by injuries and inconsistencies. She models herself after the likes of Candace Parker, Seimone Augustus and Kevin Durant, strong forwards who are able to exude flexibility on the offensive end.
In 12.3 minutes per game, Parks is averaging 3.5 points and 1.5 rebounds. But perhaps her most notable statistic is shooting 40.4 percent from the 3-point line. It has become her trademark to shoot from downtown with tremendous confidence and the perfect form, follow through and all. The earliest signs of her potential from deep came on June 4 when she scored nine points—all from 3—in the Sky’s 86-82 win over the New York Liberty.
In six other games, she converted two or more 3-pointers. On July 30, Parks went 4-for-5 from the 3 and scored a season high 14 points in a 104-85 victory over the Mercury.
Ironically enough, prior to her arrival in the WNBA, the 3 had never been Parks’ go to shot. But Parks says she was able to hone that skill after college:
I feel like I was able to develop the shot after college. In college I played the post and after college I started working on my shots.
Parks’ patience and persistence
Her journey to this point has been one of patience and persistence.
During her first two seasons (2010-12) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Parks waited for her time. She didn’t play much her freshman year and sustained a foot injury in her sophomore year.
Then, in her junior year (2012-13), she came alive. She led the Atlantic 10 Conference in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 18.7 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game. Parks made the All-Atlantic 10 Team and All-Defensive Team in her senior season.
After the conclusion of her collegiate career, she went undrafted in the 2014 WNBA Draft and spent the next seven years playing in the Spanish Women’s Basketball League for five different teams.
Parks finds stability in a season of change in Chicago
Now that she has reached the pinnacle of women’s basketball, Parks has had the good fortune of finding a rhythm that isn’t always afforded to rookies. With the many ups and downs Chicago has experienced this season, there hasn’t been a dull moment and Parks has been more than willing to step up when called upon, noting:
It has been a process, but I feel that I have been adapting very well. With all the changes, I’m just trying to roll with the punches and do whatever the team needs me to do.
Her attitude, along with a solid team chemistry, has made this first year a truly fun experience for Parks. She credits that with keeping her energetic both on and off the court, sharing:
Off the court, everybody is super cool. I think we just have great energy, great vibes with each other and that helps a lot on the court.
Parks particularly looks forward to hitting the pool and partaking in a team barbeques during those off days.
With a playoff berth the big focus for the Sky, Parks aims to finish out the season by doing the simple things that are asked of a dedicated athlete—being a team player and getting better. She emphasized:
If we can do those, the rest will take of itself.
Parks and the Sky will be back in action on Friday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET (ION) when they meet the Dream in Atlanta. On Sunday, Aug. 20, the team is back in Chicago, hosting the Connecticut Sun at 5 p.m. ET (NBA TV).