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Original Issue

SI, Feb. 12, 2007 Update

The big story around Tennessee's 2007 NCAA championship win in Knoxville—aside, of course, from the title itself—was speculation about when Lady Volunteers All-America Candace Parker would declare for the pros. The answer is now. The reigning women's college player of the year announced last week that she'll forgo her final year of eligibility to play in the WNBA; she became eligible for the April 9 draft (that's a day after the NCAA title game) because she is on target to complete a sports management degree in May.

The 6'4" Parker, who is averaging 20.6 points and 8.6 rebounds and has played all five positions for the 25--2 Lady Vols, is expected to go first overall, to the Los Angeles Sparks. L.A. coach Michael Cooper has described Parker as a combination of "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Magic Johnson." A move to L.A. would put Parker closer to her fiancé, NBA forward Shelden Williams, who was recently traded from the Atlanta Hawks to the Sacramento Kings. It would also unite the skywalking Parker—who boasts a record seven college dunks—with former league MVP Lisa Leslie, the first player to dunk in a women's pro game.


DOUBLE DUNKING As a pro, Parker could play with Leslie.