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Start The Rookie: It’s Time for Gardner to Start for Sky

With the early strugglers for three-time All-Star Allie Quigley, it is time for the Chicago Sky to start 31-year-old rookie Rebekah Gardner.

Rebekah Gardner Chicago Sky
Photo: Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

In the first nine games of the season, the Chicago Sky currently have the third-best record in the WNBA (6-3). The team has looked great thus far.

However, one concern is been that three-time All-Star and legendary sharpshooter Allie Quigley has been struggling with hitting her shots.

This season, Quigley is shooting a career-low 17.4 percent from three. She has only connected on three three-pointers this season. The threes have just not been hitting.

In Chicago’s last game against the Atlanta Dream, Quigley didn’t play a minute in the fourth quarter as 31-year-old rookie Rebekah Gardner took her place. Quigley finished with three points, all coming from the line. She shot 0-4 from the field and 0-2 from three.

Head coach James Wade needs to keep Quigley out until she can prove that she can be the reliable sharpshooter she has been her whole career.

Gardner, who was picked up this offseason, has been tremendous for the Sky. Her motor and heart are so infatuating, making her a fan favorite so early on this season.

Wade has raved about Gardner all season long. Her defensive presence has been everything for Chicago this season. “That’s what we expect from her,” said Wade. “She is a talented, smart defender. That gives us another dimension.”

Now, the rookie is not the three-point shooter that Quigley is. However, she is quicker, can get to the basket with ease, and is a better defender.

Gardner is averaging 9.1 PPG knocking down 52.9 percent of her shots. She also picks up 1.4 SPG and 3.1 RPG while averaging 23.9 MPG.

The season is still early, but Gardner has shown that she not only deserves to be in this league, but also to be a starter on a contending team.

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