Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker returning to Aces

Michael Voepel, ESPN.comFeb 7, 2024, 04:12 PM ET

CloseMichael Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker has re-signed with the Las Vegas Aces, the team announced Wednesday. Parker was part of the Aces squad that won its second consecutive WNBA championship last year, but was limited to the first part of the season because of a foot injury.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to play the game I love while competing alongside my teammates and coaches,” Parker said in a statement. “My family and I are excited to be back in Las Vegas and ready for another great season.”

Parker, who turns 38 in April, last played for the Aces on July 7. She averaged 9.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 18 games for Las Vegas in 2023. She will rejoin the Aces’ core stars, all of whom are returning, led by another two-time MVP, A’ja Wilson, as Las Vegas will go for a three-peat.

The No. 1 WNBA draft pick by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2008 out of Tennessee, Parker is the only player to be named WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season. She also was MVP in 2013, WNBA Finals MVP in 2016 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, all with the Sparks.

She left Los Angeles as a free agent in 2021, spending that season and 2022 with the Chicago Sky in her hometown. The Sky won the WNBA title in 2021. Parker left Chicago for Las Vegas last year.

For her 16-year career, Parker has averaged 16.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists. She has been on the All-WNBA first or second teams 10 times and played in seven All-Star Games. Parker is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2008, 2012). She won the 2007 and 2008 NCAA titles with Tennessee.

“Her leadership and court presence are invaluable to our team,” said Aces general manager Natalie Williams, who referred to Parker as one of the greatest players of all time. “We look forward to having her incredible skill set and contagious energy back on the floor.”

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