Sky’s Allie Quigley makes history, becoming first professional basketball player to win four three-point shooting contests

Hours before taking part in her fifth three-point contest, the one that would make her the most decorated three-point shooter in WNBA/NBA history, Sky guard Allie Quigley warmed up with teammates Courtney Vandersloot and Candace Parker at McCormick Place.

Vandersloot, Quigley’s wife, served as a makeshift ball rack, methodically handing her a basketball after each attempt, while Parker stood inches from Quigley’s body, seemingly simulating the pressurized situation she would feel later in the day.

The advice Quigley received from her teammates was simple, but the words she got from Parker were direct.

”All my teammates just told me to have fun,” Quigley said after practice Saturday. ”But Candace told me I better win.”

A year ago, after winning her third three-point title, Quigley vowed she wouldn’t compete in the contest again. It was the first time in her career she recalled being booed by a crowd in unison. But the combination of the hometown stage for All-Star Weekend and encouragement from friends and family persuaded her to come out of her three-point retirement.

As Quigley approached the ball rack and heard the announcer start counting down, all she thought was, ”This is your time; go for it,” she said.

Her shot fell through the net effortlessly.

Quigley advanced past the first round after scoring 26 points, the highest among the six competitors, as Vandersloot and Parker looked on from the scorer’s table. Mystics guard Ariel Atkins and Dream rookie Rhyne Howard advanced to the second round, as well, each finishing with 24 points.

Following Atkins and Howard, Quigley’s second-round performance was even better. Vandersloot paced the sideline with Parker, who was wearing Quigley’s DePaul jersey, trying to calm her down. With every money ball Quigley made, Vandersloot’s and Parker’s elation grew.

As Quigley came to her money-ball rack, she couldn’t hear anything except four-time All-Star Jonquel Jones, who was telling her the title was hers. As the buzzer sounded, Quigley hit one more shot, bringing the crowd — including mom Christine, who was sitting in the stands with family — to its feet. She finished with 30 points.

After Quigley accepted her award, Parker embraced her before exclaiming, ”You need to rename it the Allie Quigley three-point contest.”

Entering the event, Quigley was tied with Larry Bird and Craig Hodges for the most three-point titles with three.

”This was the highlight of my weekend,” Sky general manager/coach James Wade said. ”For her to have this moment in her city adds to the Quigley legend. I can’t wait to see the movie.”

Quigley’s historic victory followed the skills competition that featured Vandersloot and Sky forward Azura Stevens. Both lost in the first round, with Stevens falling to eventual winner Sabrina Ionescu of the Liberty.

Vandersloot and Quigley have a trophy case at home, to which they’ll add Quigley’s fourth three-point trophy. Afterward, Quigley said there is no chance she will vie for a fifth title.

Quigley’s road in the WNBA was far from typical. She played on four teams in her first four years in the league before nearly giving up. After signing with the Sky following a year away from the WNBA, Quigley finally stuck.

Her advice for young players coming up behind her was honest.

”Sometimes things that you want to accomplish aren’t going to happen right away,” she said. ”It’s a journey. You have to stay the course, be coachable, be a good teammate and continue to learn.”

Skills participants:

Rhyne Howard, Atlanta Dream

Sabrina Ionescu, New York Liberty

Courtney Vandesloot, Chicago Sky

Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun

Kelsey Plum, Las Vegas Aces

Nalyssa Smith, Indiana Fever

Azur? Stevens, Chicago Sky

Jackie Young, Las Vegas Aces

Three-point participants:

Allie Quigley, Chicago Sky

Kelsey Plum, Las Vegas Aces

Arike Ogunbowale, Dallas Wings

Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm

Ariel Atkins, Washington Mystics

Rhyne Howard, Atlanta Dream

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