Candace Parker has done just about everything during her basketball career. On Thursday, she managed to receive the one thing that has evaded her ever since she turned pro: a WNBA championship. Parker’s Los Angeles Sparks took down the Minnesota Lynx in Game 5 of the WNBA Finals, 77-76. The two-time league MVP was brilliant in the series’ deciding game, as Parker went for 28 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals in the win.
After the team took home the title, Parker was unable to hold back tears during her postgame interview. That’s because she told ESPN’s Shelley Smith that this title was dedicated to Pat Summitt, the legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach who passed away earlier this year. All Parker could say was “This is for Pat” when Smith asked her what this championship meant.
Parker had a great relationship with her former coach – as she explained earlier this year, Summitt epitomized “class and grace” during her time at the helm of the Volunteers’ women’s basketball program. We’ve seen Parker’s love for Summitt in the past, and it’s really great to see that even as she experienced the biggest high of her professional career, she made it a point express her love for her former coach. Putting up 28 and 12 in a championship-deciding game is awesome, but it’s nowhere near as great as this moment.