Black women are breaking barriers left and right!
According to ESPN, Candace Parker will now become the first female basketball player to grace the cover of NBA 2K.
The Chicago Sky star will represent the WNBA’s 25th-anniversary special edition NBA 2K22 game set to be released on Sept. 10.
“I grew up a video game fanatic, that’s what I did, to the point where my brothers would give me the fake controller when I was younger where I think I was playing and I wasn’t,” said Parker. “All I wanted to do was just be like them. As a kid growing up, you dream of having your own shoe and dream of being in a video game. Those are an athlete as a kid’s dreams. To be able to experience that, I don’t take it lightly.”
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For Parker, the historic move resonates much more now that she’s been in the WNBA for over a decade.
“I think when you’re young and experience these types of things, you’re onto the next thing,” she continued. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really savored the moment.”
Female athletes have covered sports games in other professions such as Shawn Johnson who graced the cover on a Gymnastics by Wii game in 2010 and Jelena Dokic who appeared on a tennis game cover in the early 2000s, but this is a first for women’s basketball.
“I think it’s a benchmark of women’s basketball for sure. I think most importantly it speaks to visibility and how important it is and how important the WNBA is,” Parker said. “Everyone is looking at it that it’s impacting little girls, but it’s also impacting little boys and young men and young women and men and women. I think our game is different than the NBA; now it’s embracing that fact. Now more than ever, fans want to follow the athlete. Through social media, through video games, it’s adding and benefiting the WNBA.”
The 35-year-old will join Luka Doncic, who was named the cover athlete for the game’s regular edition.
She will also join Dirk Nowitzki, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Durant who have will be recognized as cover athletes for the NBA 75th anniversary edition.