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Teresa Weatherspoon is settling in quickly as leader of the Chicago Sky

The Chicago Sky are full-fledged into a new era.

They’ve brought in Teresa Weatherspoon, a head coach who has been part of the WNBA since its inception but is new to the league in a coaching role.

General Manager Jeff Pagliocca is also new to his role, although very familiar with the league, the Chicago Sky, and its players through his player development background.

The team even has three players presently on the roster that are brand new to the league, by way of the 2024 WNBA Draft.

Newness often breeds a level of ambiguity, but said ambiguity does not have to be seen as something adverse to a group.

Rather, a breath of fresh air can be all that’s needed to establish alignment.

Weatherspoon, in many respects, is the conductor of the Chicago Sky’s recourse and new alignment.

There’s a new swagger, a new aura, a new energy around the franchise — and she’s the bearer of its foundation.

“As soon as I got here, there was an instant connection,” said guard Chennedy Carter, speaking to what makes Coach Weatherspoon unique.

“She’s a players coach. She’s played before. She’s been in my shoes, and I think that’s why I can connect with her.”

Carter’s sentiments are ones that not just seemingly, but literally, can be felt and understood to resonate with every player on the roster, emanating abundantly from their words when they’re speaking about her.

She has a reverence. One that breeds accountability, but also liberates.

“I would say it’s really refreshing to have a coach that doesn’t feel like she has to come in and fix us,” said forward Isabelle Harrison on the uniqueness of having Weatherspoon, one of just three black women in WNBA head coaching positions, as her coach.

“She just allows us to be our own players, and she just enhances that by her energy and obviously guidance and IQ, but she just allows us to be who we are. For me, I’ve been in the league for a while now and to have a coach like that that just lets you take a breath and be who you are as a player, it’s refreshing because it brings the best out of everybody.”

Harrison – the six year veteran – also made note that we saw these qualities and dynamics playing out in real-time with the Sky in their 101-53 victory over the New York Liberty on Tuesday.

She mentioned that they simply had fun, with no overthinking, just working with one another, and that all stems from Weatherspoon simply letting them play.

There’s no better example of Weatherspoon allowing the players to be themselves, and “breathe,” as Harrison detailed which ultimately brings the best out of them, than her co-signing Angel Reese leaving for Met Gala on Monday, in New York, who then returned for Tuesday’s home game and was the best player on the floor.

By the same measure, co-signing for Kamilla Cardoso to leave for the premiere screening of “Full Court Press,” in Indianapolis, on Monday as well.

Though old school in her basketball grassroots, she’s certainly present in her understanding that these players aren’t just players, but also have brands that help facilitate the life they desire.

Though she never makes it about herself, it’s clear that she’s established a relationship — already — with each player that has resonated.

“She’s the foundation of this organization right now,” said guard Kysre Gondrezick.

“Her energy is contagious. For us to be able to have access to that everyday, I think, challenges us in how we can be better in our personal lives, both on and off the floor. Being able to mimic that, the sky is truly the limit for this organization. I know personally, for me, for her to take a chance on me — I’m sure that everyone else can feel the same — she can relate to what it’s like not being chosen first, and being able to see the potential. She became a Hall of Famer from not being chosen first. Just instilling that type of confidence in each one of her players. I think it will be a joy to watch who gets the opportunity to be able to put on that uniform and not only represent the organization, but most importantly represent her.”

A very detailed, telling, heartfelt quote that well-encapsulated all that Weatherspoon is as a human — past just coaching. 

Speaking of past just coaching, the broad scope at which she views life from, and how she’s able to tie her observations into perspective on how to make an impact, is special.

“I did something all by myself,” said Weatherspoon when speaking to how she got a pulse for the city of Chicago, and how she’ll look to carve out a lane for the Chicago Sky in a city with a sports history this rich.

Take a listen, below.

Though there is plenty of newness around, a few things that are not new to Teresa Weatherspoon: leadership, understanding how to set a tone — starting with self, and doing said things from a point of initiation.

The role of head coach and the role of point guard are often synonymous, for a litany of reasons.

Tying the demands and qualities of both roles as an impactful, course director, or conductor as she likes to say, at the helm, is something that comes easily to her.

The natural-born leader has gravitated to opportunities to impart wisdom, consistently embraced “challenge” — through any adversities that life or basketball can present — and channeled it all as a special opportunity for growth in both alignment and fulfillment.

It’s abundantly clear that she’ll be up to the task in making sure her team and the franchise are all in lockstep going forward, as the 2024 season nears, by way of establishing an environment fertile for growth, accountability, and liberation, with a familial feel.

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