The outside of the North Gate entrance of the Allstate Arena, 30 minutes prior to tip-off. The arena is home to DePaul Blue Demon basketball, Chicago Wolves hockey and, of course, the Chicago Sky. The arena has a capacity of 18,500, but only hosts around 5,500 during Chicago Sky games. In the Sky’s game against the Washington Mystics, the arena sat 5,489. (Photo/Mariah Woelfel)
The team joins for a pep talk from Elena Delle Donne after a warm up, before the start of the game.
A girls basketball team joins the Chicago Sky for the National Anthem before their game against the Washington Mystics on June 3.
Betnijah Laney being helped off of the court after being knocked down. The refs took an entire possession on the other end of the court before realizing she was down and calling a time out. Laney was out the rest of the game and came back about 15 minutes later on crutches. (Photo/Mariah Woelfel)
These girls lost a half-time dance contest (to a competitively cute nine year old boy), but won in the cuteness factor to ever step foot on the Sky court. (Photo/Mariah Woelfel)
“Sky Guy,” the Chicago Sky mascot dunks during the traditional half-time dunk show. Don’t be fooled though, below him is a pile of gymnastic pads and a trampoline that he and three other gymnasts propel themselves off of. They don’t always make it, but this dunk was pretty epic. This is probably the most compelling show aside from the game.(Photo/Mariah Woelfel)
The Sky’s two biggest fans and season ticket holders. You can hear them from the other end of the court, either screaming at the ref, players on the other team, or cheering for the Sky. (Photo/Mariah Woelfel) Here they are screaming at Washington guard Ivory Latta during a free throw:
Believe it or not, this young group of cheerleaders actually do a great job of amping up the crowd during halftime. During the actual game, they are set to the away team’s corner side of the court, where they lead cheers and do flips. (Photo/Mariah Woelfel).
The referees meet to discuss the outcome of a foul called on Tamera Young, who was stopped by teammates from continuing to argue with the ref. The foul was upheld. It was one of only two of Young’s personal fouls the entire game. The two male refs, Daryl Humphrey (no. 8) and Kevin Sparrock (no.49), were the least liked by the crowd during this game. Their number were called out often, with phrases like “Where are your glasses? Want to borrow mine?” or, when a foul was called on the Mystics, “I’m glad there’s air in that whistle, ref!” (Photo/Mariah Woelfel)
The team musters their last bit of energy at the end of the game to throw towels to their fans. Every single one of them had a smile and visibly seemed to enjoy doing it. Most of them sought out specific fans to throw to, mostly younger kids or the most enthused. Jamierra Faulkner had nine assists this game, but her most impressive pass might have been to a back row in the main section to a young girl screaming for a towel. (Photo/Mariah Woelfel)
Cappie Pondexter walked past numerous fans screaming her name for a towel. She was looking for someone specific: a young fan who sat courtside in her wheelchair as a result of a physical disability. Pondexter handed her a towel with an ear-to-ear smile. (Photo/Mariah Woelfel)
A portion of the 5,489 fans who were in attendance last night hold their arms up in anticipation for a towel to be thrown by a Sky player. (Photo/Mariah Woelfel)
Though the team won in the fourth, Cappie Pondextet pretty much played overtime, taking pictures with a few fans and finding specific people to pass out towels to. (Photo/Mariah Woelfel)