WNBA: Chicago Sky’s Copper and Quigley take part in Sports Matter Day

Chicago Sky’s Kahleah Copper and Allie Quigley have a lot to do. They’re in the middle of a race to help their team repeat as WNBA champions with the playoffs in two weeks. But they still manage to find the time to give back to their community in a meaningful way.

On Thursday, in conjunction with the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation, Copper and Quigley participated in Sports Matter Day, an initiative to encourage youth sports participation by providing local children with all the equipment, amenities and motivation needed to succeed in sports. At Winstrut Arena, the two players joined NBA legend Scottie Pippen in gifting 32 youth organizations and 10,000 young athletes with Chicago water bottles, apparel and gear, while sharing important life lessons that sport provides.

Additionally, the initiative has pledged $500,000 to DonorsChoose’s Equity Focus initiative, which seeks racial equity in school sports programs. This initiative is close to home for both players who are very familiar with all the holistic benefits the sport can offer, especially when given the opportunity at a young age.

“I think sports taught me to be a team player,” Copper said. “I think it also taught me discipline and our team to be disciplined.”

There is undoubtedly empirical research concluding that youth participation in sports improves children’s quality of life. Studies show that when children participate in well-structured and organized sports, the benefits range from better social-emotional and mental health, to academic achievement and healthy lifestyles. In addition, it is crucial for children to be in the presence of high level and successful athletes with whom they can identify. And given the Sky’s recent success, they have much to celebrate and learn from, especially on this day.

“They were excited and it was nice to see their curiosity,” Quigley said. “It was just inspiring.”

This day of giving back happened on the same day as Brittney Griner’s sentencing in Russia. Given that she is known for her activism and community involvement, seeing her competitors participate in such an initiative would have made her immensely proud and would have given her strength at a time when her resolve is being tested.

“Obviously we’re sad,” Quigley said. “The main thing is to try to get it back.”

When it comes to basketball, Copper and Quigley remain focused on the task at hand as the Sky continue to be the best team in the league and at the right time. After a convincing 93-83 win over the Mystics on Friday, they’ve never looked better. Even with a few scratches here and there, their versatility and determination got them to this point.

“We’re locked in on ourselves,” Copper said. “We just want to keep improving.”

Whether on or off the field, the Chicago Sky remain a venerable presence in the lives of their fans. This day of promoting the widespread joy that sports brings is just the latest example of why they are a team to celebrate and cherish. Whatever happens before the playoffs, the sight of two of Chicago’s most prominent players giving back will be etched in the hearts and minds of these kids for years to come.

You can find more information about Sports Matter Day here.

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