Chicago Sky to hire Hall of Famer Teresa Weatherspoon as next head coach

Teresa Weatherspoon will replace Emre Vatansever in Chicago, who was serving as the Sky's interim head coach late last season

Teresa Weatherspoon is headed back to the WNBA.

The Chicago Sky are finalizing a deal to make the Hall of Famer its next head coach, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Weatherspoon will replace Emre Vatansever in Chicago, who parted with the franchise after serving in the interim role in the second half of last season.

Weatherspoon played in the league from 1997-2004, almost entirely for the New York Liberty before spending her final season with the Los Angeles Sparks. She averaged 5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while earning five All-Star nods during her career, and led the Liberty to the WNBA Finals four times. She was named the Defensive Player of the Year twice and won two Olympics medals with Team USA — including a gold medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.

Weatherspoon led the Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team for five seasons and got the program to the NCAA tournament twice in what was her first head-coaching job. She then joined the New Orleans Pelicans’ staff in 2019 as an assistant coach and was frequently someone who was being considered to become the NBA’s first female head coach. She developed a great relationship with Zion Williamson, too, as he credited her for helping him recover through a broken foot during his third season in New Orleans.

The Pelicans, however, split with Weatherspoon suddenly in June.

Weatherspoon will now get her first head-coaching job in the WNBA, where she’ll look to bring stability to a franchise that had two head coaches last season just a few years removed from its title run.

Vatansever was promoted to the Sky’s interim head coach this past summer after James Wade stepped down to join the Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach under new head coach Darko Rajaković. Wade was in the middle of his fifth season with the team and helped lead them to their first WNBA championship in 2021.

Vatansever went 11-13 and got the Sky to the playoffs, but they were knocked out of the postseason by the Las Vegas Aces in the first round. The organization then split with Vatansever officially last month and started a search for a new head coach and general manager. Wade held both roles, and the Sky were the last team to combine the head coach and general manager jobs into one.

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