WNBA All-Star Quigley Never Gave Up the Dream
July 28, 2017
CHICAGO - The journey Allie Quigley took to one of the most memorable weekends of her life reads like a Hollywood storyline replete with adversity, inner courage and a happy ending.
After a nine-year WNBA career, the former DePaul standout earned a spot in her first All-Star Game along with winning the Three-Point Contest.
All this last weekend in Seattle, the franchise that drafted her in with the 22nd pick in 2008 only to release her after training camp in 2012.
"Being selected to the All-Star Game meant a lot after what I had gone through," Quigley said. "When I got cut after training camp in 2012, I thought: `This is it.' I thought it was all over.
"I took the summer off and then played in Slovakia. The Chicago Sky called in 2013 and I knew this was my last shot. If I didn't make it this time, it was over. I gave it everything I had, and luckily it worked out."
With her family cheering wildly from the Key Arena stands, Quigley scored 14 points in 19 minutes, hitting 4-of-9 shots from three-point range as her East All-Stars fell to the West 130-121.
At halftime, Quigley faced off against four other sharpshooters including Sue Bird and Maya Moore. Quigley came in as the league's third most-accurate shooter from behind the arc and advanced to the final round against the New York Liberty's Sugar Rodgers.
Quigley put on a show that had the Key Arena audience buzzing after making 19-of-25 threes including a stretch of nine in a row.
"I was warming up in the first round and got my nerves out," Quigley said. "In the finals, I tried to stay relaxed and in a good rhythm. It's something familiar, and there are times in practice when I really get on a roll.
"Those nine in a row felt good coming off my hand. You shoot it quick, and it felt like everything was going in no matter what."
Some of her fellow All-Stars were not surprised at Quigley's performances last weekend.
"You could tell early on that she had something special about the way she could score the basketball," the Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi told the WNBA website. "She filled out a little bit physically, and now you can tell she's such a confident basketball player.
"She knows what she does really well, and she's one of the best in the world at pull-up threes. The Three-Point Contest showed what kind of touch she has."
The Seattle Storm's Sue Bird remembered teaming up with Quigley.
"She's always been able to do that," Bird told ESPN writer Kevin Pelton. "It was not easy guarding her in practice."
On the WNBA website, Bird added: "Her game evolved as she played overseas, and she learned how to be the focal point and take on that responsibility. She made her career as a sixth woman, and she's slowly made that transformation to a go-to player."
Quigley was honored as the WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year in 2014 and 2015 while helping lead the Sky to the WNBA Finals in 2014.
She is having a career year in 2017, leading the Sky at 16.8 points per game which is 10th in the league. Her 49 three-pointers are second in the WNBA to Taurasi's 67, and Quigley is fourth in three-point accuracy at 45.4 percent.
"It was such a cool experience going to the All-Star Game for the first time," Quigley said. "My family was there to watch, and it was special being around some of the best to ever play the game.
"The All-Star Game was fun and not super serious. At the same time, nobody wants to look bad out there. It was fun to see people in a more relaxed atmosphere."
Quigley is posting career-best numbers in points, rebounds, assists, steals, three-point percentage and field goal percentage.
"Playing overseas in the offseason really helped," she said. "You're getting 30-35 minutes a game, and that kept me going. I gained confidence playing in the Euro League against WNBA players. When I saw I could play well against them, I brought that feeling back home."
Quigley finished up her DePaul career (2004-08) as the third all-time leading scorer with 2,078 points and led the Blue Demons to four NCAA tournament appearances including a Sweet 16 berth in 2006 and Second Round spot in 2005.
She is third in career field goals and three-pointers, tied for third in free throw percentage, seventh in scoring average and assists and eighth in three-point percentage.
"My DePaul experience was all about coach (Doug Bruno) and his focus on fundamentals," Quigley said. "Use the pass fake, pass with either hand. Off the court, be a good all-around person and sit up front in class. When you are talking to someone, look that person in the eye. Coach helped me come out of my shell and become a leader."
And benefitting from that leadership is new Sky teammate Keisha Hampton who starred at DePaul from 2008 to 2012.
"It's good playing with Keisha, and we had a similar journey making it to the WNBA after not getting it right away," Quigley said. "Even though we didn't play at the same time, we both had the same experience with coach Bruno. I've watched Keisha grow and get more confident."
Hampton may one day replicate Quigley's formula for success.
"This season is all about hard work and experience," Quigley said. "It's being ready for the opportunity, and everything I've gone through has come together.
"I'm a good example for younger players and those struggling to make it. I went through so much, but I wouldn't change anything.
"It may not work out the first time, second time, third time, fourth time. That doesn't matter. Keep working at it and never give up on your dream."
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