Chicago Sky coach James Wade shared a heartfelt message to two-time WNBA champion and MVP Candace Parker after she announced her intention to sign with the Las Vegas Aces as an unrestricted free agent on Saturday.

“Candace has done so much for our franchise in her time here,” Wade said in a statement. “I understand her reasons for wanting to be closer with her immediate family. We wish her nothing but the best. She will always be a part of the Sky family. We will celebrate her time here as she deserves.”

Parker signed a one-year contract with the Aces, her agent Boris Lelchitski told ESPN on Saturday; her salary is still being negotiated.

“As I've gone through free agency this time around, of course I'm thinking of where I can compete for my third championship, but the words home and family are what I kept coming back to…I need to be there for my daughter, for my son, for my wife,” Parker wrote in an Instagram post on Saturday.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Candace Parker (@candaceparker)

“I can't be without them for parts of the season when Lailaa is in school and I won't miss her volleyball games or school dances simply because of distance. Lailaa starts high school in August and I need to be there for her, just as she's been there for me. After evaluating the landscape together with my family, we've decided the Las Vegas Aces are the right organization for us at this point in our lives.”

After spending most of her career with the Los Angeles Sparks, Parker spent the last two seasons playing for her hometown team in the Chicago Sky, helping the team win its first championship in 2021.

Candace Parker joins the Aces and, per ESPN, “a core of two-time WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson, first-team All-WNBA member Kelsey Plum and finals MVP Chelsea Gray, who are all fresh off a WNBA title, the franchise's first, this past season.”

The 36-year-old superstar, widely considered one of the greatest ever to play the game, makes the Las Vegas Aces the undisputed favorite to win the WNBA title again in 2023.