Candace Parker is one of the greatest women’s basketball players in history, both as a WNBA star for the L.A. Sparks and from her time with the Tennessee Volunteers.
Parker is doing studio work with Turner and CBS during the NCAA Tournament this year, and while on-camera she acts as a mostly objective observer of the games and providing analysis, she still is a Vol at heart who bleeds orange. So, when Tennessee found itself in a dogfight late against Loyola-Chicago with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line, Parker went on a rollercoaster ride of emotions in the studio during what was ultimately a stunning loss in the final seconds.
Luckily for us, the Turner cameras were rolling on Parker as she watched her Vols charge back to take a one-point lead with under 20 seconds to play, talking smack to Brendan Haywood next to her, and then watching her double over in agony as the Ramblers hit a jumper to take the lead and the Vols’ game-winning attempt rattled out.
Brendan Haywood did what any good friend would do in this situation, which is take video of Parker while she melted down, especially after she directed her excited trash talk at him after the Vols took the lead just prior. Parker’s reaction is the latest example of just how invested former athletes are in their alma mater when they graduate and become fans like the rest of us. They have an even deeper connection to those programs and that makes the victories a little sweeter, but the frustrations a little higher for losses.