Chicago Sky made history on Sunday night by beating Phoenix Mercury to win their first ever WNBA Championship title.
The Illinois-based franchise were equal with their opponents after two matches of the best-of-five series – with both sides tucking a win firmly under their belts.
But Sky embraced the pressure, winning the next two games and securing the title after beating Mercury 3-1 overall in the Finals.
Candace Parker, who grew up in Illinois supporting the Chicago Bulls, put in a dominant final performance for her side. The forward finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and four steals.
Sky rounded off their Finals campaign with an 80-74 win over Mercury, who had levelled the standings in Game two.
From the off, Chicago had huge support as they vied for their first ever WNBA title. Former President of the United States, Barack Obama posted a message of good luck on his Instagram to his hometown side.
It was clear to see exactly what the victory meant to Parker as she was shown in tears just moments before the buzzer, after Sky took a four-point lead. Courtney Vandersloot then put the match to bed after scoring two free throws to extend the lead to six.
Parker joined Sky just eight months ago on a free contract from Los Angeles Sparks, where she spent 12 years of her career after being drafted as the first pick overall in 2008.
Social media erupted into celebration, with fans across the globe relishing Sky’s historic win. Huge stars also lauded the performances of the Chicago players, including basketball legend Lisa Leslie, and rap artist Chance The Rapper.
“Congrats to @chicagosky on winning the WNBA Finals today, bringing us our first championship in franchise history!!!!” Chance The Rapper tweeted. “The city appreciates yall!!”
Actress and singer Gabrielle Union posted: “I started crying around the 2 min mark and the tears of joy are still flowing! Man, I’m SO DAMN HAPPY for @Candace_Parker and the @chicagosky. EPIC series.”
Leslie, who won two Championships and three WNBA MVP awards, also congratulated her former teammate and friend Parker.
“Wow! Congrats to Silk @Candace_Parker and the whole @chicagosky team of the @WNBA and organization!!! 2021 Champs forever!!!”
A video of Parker sharing an emotional celebration with her daughter Lailaa has also gone viral.
The two were filmed teary-eyed as they embraced and took in the historic moment.