Candace Parker becomes first woman to feature on NBA 2K cover

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The Verge 15 July, 2021 - 12:47am 4 views

Who is the cover athlete for NBA 2k22?

Luka Doncic will be the primary cover athlete for the NBA 2K22 game. The Slovenian superstar averaged 27.7 points, 8 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game during his third season in Dallas. The 21-year-old was named an All-Star for the second time and was made the All-NBA first team for his stellar season. Sporting NewsWho are the NBA 2K22 cover athletes? Luka Doncic, Candace Parker highlight five chosen players

Updated 2:37 PM ET, Wed July 14, 2021

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NBA 2K franchise features first female cover athlete

GamesIndustry.biz 15 July, 2021 - 11:58am

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Women's NBA player Candace Parker has become the first female athlete to feature on the cover of an NBA 2K title.

Parker, who plays with Chicago Sky, will appear on the cover art of NBA 2K22, set to release in September.

She is a six-time WNBA all-star, two-time WNBA MVP, and the 2016 WNBA Finals MVP. Parker was first added as a playable character to the basketball game franchise in 2019 with the release of NBA 2K20.

"Extremely proud and humbled to be the first female cover athlete in the history of NBA 2K," Parker said via Twitter..

"I'm honoured to work with a company that's investing in women and betting on us to succeed. I'm hopeful there will be many more badass females to follow."

The NBA series is a consistent revenue driver for 2K parent Take-Two -- NBA 2K21 and NBA 2K20 were among the company's largest contributors during last year's third fiscal quarter.

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WNBA's Candace Parker of Chicago Sky to be first female basketball player on cover of NBA 2K

ESPN 15 July, 2021 - 11:29am

NEW YORK -- Candace Parker grew up playing video games, and now she'll be the first female basketball player on the cover of one.

The Chicago Sky star will appear on the NBA 2K22 cover for the WNBA 25th anniversary special edition when it's released Sept. 10.

"I grew up a video game fanatic, that's what I did, to the point where my brothers would give me the fake controller when I was younger where I think I was playing and I wasn't," Parker said. "All I wanted to do was just be like them. As a kid growing up, you dream of having your own shoe and dream of being in a video game. Those are an athlete as a kid's dreams. To be able to experience that, I don't take it lightly."

Parker said when she was just starting in the WNBA in 2008, she might not have appreciated it as much as she does now.

"I think when you're young and experience these type of things, you're onto the next thing," she said. "As I've gotten older, I've really savored the moment."

Parker joins an exclusive group of female athletes to adorn covers of sports games. Shawn Johnson was on a Gymnastics by Wii game in 2010, and Jelena Dokic was on a tennis game in the early 2000s.

"I think it's a benchmark of women's basketball for sure. I think most importantly it speaks to visibility and how important it is and how important the WNBA is," Parker said. "Everyone is looking at it that it's impacting little girls, but it's also impacting little boys and young men and young women and men and women. I think our game is different than the NBA; now it's embracing that fact. Now more than ever, fans want to follow the athlete. Through social media, through video games, it's adding and benefiting the WNBA."

The 35-year-old former MVP knows that there were a lot of players who could have been the first and was humbled by the fact that she was chosen.

"It means a lot to me," she said. "I'm a fan of basketball. I eat, sleep and breathe basketball. I'm a historian within basketball. I am a fan of basketball. I commentate basketball. I play video games. It was really the perfect storm because there are a lot of other people well-deserving of this, and I know that."

Parker joins Luka Doncic, who was named the cover athlete for the game's regular edition, and Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who were recognized as cover athletes for the NBA 75th anniversary edition.

While the WNBA will be on an Olympic break for the next month, Parker will be busy. The two-time Olympic gold medalist will be commentating the medal rounds at the Tokyo Games.

"I had an opportunity to go earlier, for me, I wanted to be with my team as long as I can," she said. "Wanted to do both, and this was a great opportunity to me. I remember Craig Sager interviewing me and it was unbelievable. The broadcast does amplify the game. To be a part of the experience of the Olympics, I'm really excited about."

WNBA All-Star Candace Parker featured as first woman on cover of NBA 2K

USA TODAY 15 July, 2021 - 11:29am

The Chicago Sky's Candace Parker will make history as the first WNBA player on the GameStop-exclusive cover of the newest edition of NBA 2K.

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SportsPulse: Mackenzie Salmon connected with WNBA superstar Candace Parker to discuss the current state of the league and their involvement in social justice issues. She also shared her thoughts on the conflict between the players and Kelly Loeffler. USA TODAY

Six-time All-Star Candace Parker has already left her mark on the WNBA history books as one of only six women to win two or more league MVP awards, and she is making history again as the first woman ever featured on the cover of the newest edition of NBA 2K.

The video game has become increasingly popular with the growth of e-sports over the last several years. Forbes reported that in 2020, the NBA 2K League saw a 70% increase in viewership on the streaming platform Twitch compared to the 2019 season. NBA 2K21, the previous edition of the game, was the No. 13 highest-selling game in 2020 not including digital sales. 

The cover features the Chicago Sky star shooting over a background of her team's colors, and it will be exclusively sold at GameStop as part of NBA 2K's marketing partnership with the gaming store. 

"I’m honored to work with a company that’s investing in women and betting on us to succeed," Parker wrote on Twitter. "I’m hopeful there will be many more badass females to follow."

NBA 2K22 is also releasing a NBA 75th anniversary cover featuring NBA icons Kevin Durant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic is also featured on a third cover.

Parker has had her first All-Star season since 2018 this year. She is second on the Sky in points per game (13.3) while also leading the team with 7.1 defensive rebounds per game. Parker has notched 105 total rebounds and 15 blocks, both of which rank second on the team.

Parker is competing tonight in the WNBA All-Star Game, where she and Team WNBA will face off against the Team USA squad heading to the Tokyo Olympics next week. 

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Candace Parker becomes first female cover athlete in NBA2K history; Luka Doncic joins her

Yahoo Sports 15 July, 2021 - 11:29am

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

The NBA2K franchise is celebrating the 25th anniversary edition of the WNBA with the exclusive cover. Parker is in her first season back home in Chicago after 13 years with the Los Angeles Sparks that included the 2016 championship. She was voted WNBA Finals MVP. 

“The WNBA has a loyal and growing fan base who wants to see their teams and players represented in basketball’s most iconic video game,” Alfie Brody, 2K’s VP of global marketing strategy, told Sportico. “Representation is important and by featuring a female athlete on the cover, it signals that NBA 2K is for anyone.”

TV ratings for WNBA games continue to rise and the product is available in more places and streaming services than ever. The female gaming community is also large and ever-growing and many WNBA stars are gamers themselves. 

The WNBA was not a part of the popular video game franchise, which started in 1999, until the version that was released in 2019. Gamers could only play exhibition games with their favorite WNBA teams or play out a season. The game expanded its offerings for the 2021 edition with WNBA franchise mode, MyPlayer mode and 3v3 multiplayer online mode. 

“Three years ago, we were put in the game,” Parker told Sportico. “[The reaction] speaks to how much it was needed. Everybody talks about the little girls, but it’s important for boys to be able to see women’s basketball in the video game, too. I always said I wanted to leave the game better than I came into it. To be part of this [2K] process… is doing just that.”

Parker is a superstar in the game but also has broad appeal and is seen regularly on NBA on TNT as an analyst. Her story is well told and basketball fans of almost any level of interest will easily recognize her on the cover. 

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The NBA 2K franchise has its first female cover star in Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker, who will grace the front of the popular video game’s 2K22 special edition in honor of the WNBA’s 25th anniversary. Parker, a WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, will soon head to Tokyo as a studio analyst for […]

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Candace Parker to be first woman on the cover of NBA 2K

KTSM 9 NEWS 15 July, 2021 - 11:29am

Candace Parker becomes first woman on NBA2K cover

FOX59 News 15 July, 2021 - 11:29am

WNBA Star Candace Parker Becomes First Woman to Cover NBA 2K : I'm 'Extremely Proud and Humbled'

Yahoo Eurosport UK 15 July, 2021 - 09:40am

Candace Parker is making sports video game history.

On Wednesday, 2K Sports announced that the 35-year-old basketball player will grace the NBA 2K22 cover for the WNBA 25th anniversary special edition, making her the first female cover athlete in the franchise's history.

Set to be released on Sept. 10, Parker joins Luka Dončić — who was named the cover athlete for the standard edition — and Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who will star on the cover for the NBA 75th anniversary edition.

"Extremely proud and humbled to be the first female cover athlete in the history of @NBA2K," Parker wrote on Twitter. "I'm honored to work with a company that's investing in women and betting on us to succeed. I'm hopeful there will be many more badass females to follow."

The Chicago Sky player joins a small selection of female athletes who have been tapped for the covers of sports games over the years, including Shawn Johnson on a Gymnastics by Wii game, according to ESPN.

"As a kid growing up, you dream of having your own shoe and dream of being in a video game. Those are an athlete as a kid's dreams. To be able to experience that, I don't take it lightly," she told the outlet.

The sports star also said that she understands there were an array of other players who could have been chosen to be the first to cover the game.

"It means a lot to me. I'm a fan of basketball. I eat, sleep and breathe basketball. I'm a historian within basketball. I am a fan of basketball. I commentate basketball. I play video games," the former MVP said. "It was really the perfect storm because there are a lot of other people well-deserving of this, and I know that."

All three versions of the forthcoming video game are planned to be released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and PC, per Fox News. The WNBA 25th anniversary special edition is available for pre-order now.

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Candace Parker

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