Courtney Vandersloot bids Sky farewell, looks ahead to 'new beginning'

Courtney Vandersloot announced Tuesday in a social media post that she won't be returning to the Chicago Sky, setting the stage for her free agency move to another WNBA team.

Free agents can officially sign with teams beginning Wednesday.

Vandersloot, the No. 3 overall pick in 2011 out of Gonzaga, is one of the top point guards in WNBA history, having led the league in assists per game six times in her 12 seasons in Chicago. She also helped guide the Sky to a WNBA championship in 2021.

"To the Sky organization who drafted the little guard from a mid-major and believed in me from the jump, I couldn't have asked for anything better," Vandersloot wrote on Instagram. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have realized my dreams because of you.

"Although I never planned for this day to come, I have decided it is time for me to pursue a new beginning. I will forever be grateful for the memories I have made during my time here. As I look ahead to a new chapter, with a new team, in a new city, know that Chicago, its fans, and the Sky organization will always hold a special place in my heart. It's goodbye for now, but thank you forever."

It has been speculated since the end of last season, when the Sky lost in the semifinals to the Connecticut Sun, that Vandersloot, an unrestricted free agent, might move on from Chicago this year. Her decision might be tied in part to another free agent, forward Breanna Stewart, who is deciding between staying with the Seattle Storm and joining the New York Liberty.

Vandersloot and Stewart could opt to play together.

Vandersloot, who turns 34 on Feb. 8, has averaged 10.2 points and 6.6 assists in her WNBA career. Her wife, guard Allie Quigley, is also an unrestricted free agent who has spent the past 10 seasons in Chicago.

Another player from the Sky's championship squad, Candace Parker, announced Saturday on social media that she would be joining the Las Vegas Aces.