Two-time WNBA champion Candace Parker thanked her daughter for “supporting Mommy” in a new Instagram post following her monumental win this year with the Chicago Sky. Parker led the team to its first WNBA championship trophy after making the decision to leave the Los Angeles Sparks after 13 years and return to her hometown, as Blavity previously reported. The Olympic gold medalist uploaded a side-by-side photo of her and her daughter during her 2016 win with the Sparks and the 2021 championship.
“I know people see the wins but in this journey you have been there through the losses too. I love you Lailaa Nicole,” she wrote in the caption. “Thank you for supporting Mommy in all of her hopes and dreams! Thank you for teaching me my greatest lessons and for inspiring me everyday!”
Parker speaks highly of her relationship with her 12-year-old daughter Lailaa, whom she gave birth to just before she started her second season with the WNBA in May 2009. Parker was 23 years old at the time. According to ESPN, since she decided to leave Los Angeles for the windy city, and has been mostly separated from her child, who stayed in California for most of the summer.
“We’ve gone through this together. You know?” Parker told the outlet. “She sacrifices her mom so that I can live my dream. I just am so thankful for her, that she’s here for the big moments.”
As she mentions on Instagram, it’s more than just the wins for Parker. She reflects often on the losses and the lessons they teach her as a player. The phenom, who closed the championship game with 16 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four steals, has made her way to the finals at least two other times. However, not every appearance resulted in a victory for her. She knows how the Phoenix Mercury felt after receiving the defeat this year.
“You know, it’s funny, when I’m sitting at home watching television and there’s a last-second shot, I immediately almost vomit in my mouth,” she said, per ESPN. “My daughter knows that I sympathize more with the person that is on the losing end of that. My heart breaks for them. Because I’ve been there.”
“I could have four or five WNBA titles by now. And I could also have zero,” Parker continued. “I think it’s made me really understand how important possessions are. We think about that last-second shot, but every possession is equally important. And I think it’s had me become less results-driven, and just focus on doing what you’re supposed to do. You could literally do everything you’re supposed to do and not reach your goal. But are you going to stop working?”