For the first time in history, a Black woman will grace the cover of the most popular basketball video game in history. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the WNBA, Candace Parker will grace the cover of NBA 2K22.
"I grew up a video game fanatic, that's what I did, to the point where my brothers would give me the fake controller when I was younger where I think I was playing and I wasn't," Parker said about the opportunity to cover the popular game.
"All I wanted to do was just be like them. As a kid growing up, you dream of having your own shoe and dream of being in a video game. Those are an athlete as a kid's dreams. To be able to experience that, I don't take it lightly."
Parker is one of the most accomplished basketball players in American history, regardless of gender. She is a WNBA champion, WNBA Finals MVP, two-time WNBA MVP, six-time WNBA all-star and two-time NCAA champion. As she has continued to succeed, fellow WNBA legends like Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings have helped bring the game into the modern era and expand its fan base. Along the way, the WNBA has been featured in games like NBA 2K, stars like Nneka Ogwumike have appeared in Space Jam: A New Legacy and the likes of Russell Westbrook and Dwight Howard have become regulars at games.
"I think it's a benchmark of women's basketball for sure. I think most importantly it speaks to visibility and how important it is and how important the WNBA is," Parker explained.
"Everyone is looking at it that it's impacting little girls, but it's also impacting little boys and young men and young women and men and women. I think our game is different than the NBA; now it's embracing that fact. Now more than ever, fans want to follow the athlete. Through social media, through video games, it's adding and benefiting the WNBA."
Parker will travel out to Las Vegas, Nevada to represent Team WNBA in the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game.
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