Sky get new additions to training camp as coach James Wade makes his first cuts

Kaela Davis watched the Sky win their first WNBA championship from her couch in Spain.

It was the first stop on her overseas season last year before finishing out 2021-22 in Turkey playing for Galatasaray. Less than 24 hours after putting up 13 points and three rebounds in her final game of the season she was on a flight to Chicago for Sky training camp.

Thursday, she was in camp playing to earn a spot on Sky coach/general manager James Wade’s championship roster.

“I wanted to show Chicago it’s a priority for me to be in training camp right away,” Davis said. “It was important for me to get here.”

Wade encouraged Davis to focus on her overseas responsibilities, telling her she’d have an opportunity to prove herself once she arrived. In her first day with the Sky, Davis’ focus was on learning Wade’s system.

She concluded her first practice by getting the Sky’s plays uploaded to an app on her phone. Her plans for the next few days include nothing but studying.

“I think I might put my phone on airplane mode honestly,” Davis said.

Davis brings four years of WNBA experience, last playing for the Atlanta Dream in 2020. Before that she played for the Dallas Wings from 2017-2019.

Ruthy Hebard was another late arrival at camp on Thursday. Early in the day Wade waived Kamiah Smalls and Kayla Wells to make room on his training camp roster. No more than 15 players are allowed in a WNBA market at one time during training camp.

Through the first nearly two weeks of camp, the Sky’s practices have been competitive. With one of the deepest training camp rosters in the WNBA that was to be expected. The biggest highlight of the first 11 days has been Emma Meesseman’s seamless transition into Wade’s system.

In the Sky’s first preseason game she finished with 24 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals playing without any of the team’s starters.

“I’m usually the one that’s late to camp,” Meesseman said Monday. “I’m happy to be here early and get the systems down. It’s already a lot of fun right now.”

Allie Quigley has been taking training camp easy, listening to her body she said. She sat out of the Sky’s first preseason game along with Courtney Vandersloot and Azurá Stevens, but that wasn’t a surprise. Ahead of camp Wade said the same things wouldn’t be demanded of those players and Meesseman in the early days of camp because of their cachet.

Demands for them may be different, but in practice Vandersloot, Meesseman and Stevens have appeared to all be operating at their full capacity.

The Sky are still without Candace Parker, who is expected to get to Chicago this weekend Wade said. Kahleah Copper and Julie Allemand are both still competing overseas. Copper is expected to arrive in Chicago in mid-May.

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