words // Brandon Richard
Last June, Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker's WNBA season came to an abrupt end when she suffered a dislocated left shoulder in a game against the Minnesota Lynx. She got back on the court in Russia prior to this WNBA season, but finally returned to the Sparks on Friday night in the season opener, ironically against the Lynx.
Anybody waiting for signs of rust is probably still waiting. Playing much like the Candace everybody remembered prior to the injury, she covered multiple positions, created plays for her teammates and posted a double-double in an 82-74 comeback victory for the Sparks. Candace also made a strong defensive contribution, recording three blocked shots and a steal.
"I was extremely emotional before the game because it's been almost a year since I've been able to run through that tunnel and run onto that floor," Parker told ESPN. "I was excited to get out there, a little nervous. It was so much fun to be back there on the floor with my teammates."
While a lot of the night's focus was placed on the debut of Lynx rookie Maya Moore and her first game as a member of the Jordan Brand, Candace had a significant night for women's sneakers as well. In Friday night's game, she debuted her second official signature shoe under adidas, the ACE Versatility. The new model, which she wore in a White/Yellow PE colorway, is equipped with CLIMACOOL and adiPRENE technology and features a functional and removable midfoot cross-strap.
Click here for a closer look at the ACE Versatility in White/Purple. They shoe will hit retailers, like Eastbay, later this summer.
images via ESPN