While its season may have been postponed along with every other sport, the WNBA is getting some deserved time in the spotlight in the middle of our current sports desert, with two major upcoming events: the WNBA draft will be carried live on ESPN on April 17 at 7 p.m. EDT, and two WNBA stars will compete in the NBA HORSE challenge, with quarterfinals beginning tonight on ESPN at 7 p.m. EDT. The competition will wrap up on Thursday, April 16, and features some exciting matchups:
Quigley, who’s married to fellow Chicago Sky player Courtney Vandersloot, is a three-time WNBA All Star and has previously won back-to-back three-point contests in 2017 and 2018. Her 2018 win also set a historic performance record with 29 points, which, compared with the NBA record set by Devin Booker (28 points), means the Thunder’s Chris Paul will have some fierce competition going into tonight’s face off, and she knows it.
“I can go with the famous Larry Bird quote,” Quigley said, in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times: “Which one of you guys is coming in second?”
The elimination-style HORSE challenge will be played virtually, and is set to raise $200,000 for charities helping with the coronavirus response. “It’s awesome that they’re doing this,” added Quigley. “In the time we’re in right now, I feel like it was kind of a no-brainer to have WNBA players in it, so I’m not, like, so shocked — that’s just how much progress we’ve made. Obviously, we have a lot more to go, but I feel like we’ll get there… It’ll be cool to give everyone at home something to watch finally on ESPN.”
The inclusion of W players in the NBA’s skills competition is an exciting move for a league that’s been growing tremendously in the past year, especially since the Mystic’s first championship win last summer. While the coronavirus pandemic has put a pause on this year’s season and postponed the D.C. team’s championship parade, hopefully the NBA will continue to uplift players like Quigley and (newly announced Hall of Famer!) Catchings and keep amplifying interest in women’s basketball talent.
And it’s good to see sponsors are getting into the mix, too. On Friday, Quigley showed her new Nike gear to her Twitter followers: