Baranek: Allie Quigley right at home with WNBA’s Sky
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org June 30, 2014 8:56PM
Former Joliet Catholic and DePaul star Allie Quigley is having a breakout season with the WNBA's Sky. | Getty Images/Photo courtesy of Gary Dineen/National Basketball Association
Updated: August 2, 2014 6:19AM
Turkey. Hungary. Slovakia. Poland, Croatia. Romania.
Phoenix, San Antonio, Indiana, Seattle.
Allie Quigley has played basketball everywhere, man. But there’s no place like home, and to that end the 28-year-old Joliet native today is living the dream at Allstate Arena.
Quigley, a former star at Joliet Catholic and DePaul, is putting up the biggest numbers of her seven-year WNBA career. Through 15 games she is averaging 22.1 minutes and 9.5 points per game for the Sky (7-8).
“It’s a breakout season for her all around,” Sky media and communications coordinator (and Marist grad) Lauren Niemiera said. “She’s got career highs in minutes played, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made and points.”
Quigley is the first player off the bench. Sometimes she plays as much as the starters. On June 22 against Tulsa, she was on the court for 33 minutes. On June 13 against Washington, she scored a career-high 18 points.
“I have an ‘always stay ready’ mentality. I try to bring energy when I go into the game,” Quigley said. “I think I came in pretty confident this year, and things have worked out. We just have to get back on the winning track. When you’re not winning, it doesn’t feel as good.”
In 2013, her first year with the team, she helped the Sky earn a playoff spot for the first time in franchise history. It was the first time since she was a college star she’d been able to play in front of family and friends on a regular basis.
“It’s awesome. Amazing,” Quigley said. “Obviously, being so close to home they get to come to the games and I get to go out and eat with them after the games. It’s pretty special.”
The Quigley family has quite a legacy in Southland sports.
Allie’s mother, Christine, was a star basketball player at Joliet Central and then St. Francis, the latter of which retired her jersey. The basketball court at St. Francis is named after Allie’s late father, Pat, who was a celebrated area athlete and later, a high school coach.
A brother, Ryan, was a stellar baseball player at Joliet Catholic and worked his way up to the San Diego Padres minor league system. Another brother, Jake, is a tennis instructor.
Allie’s younger sister, Sam, also starred at Joliet Catholic and DePaul, and is the women’s basketball coach at St. Francis.
The professional glory days for Allie have been a while in coming.
After a stellar career at DePaul, in which she scored 2,078 career points, Quigley was a second-round pick in the 2008 WNBA draft. Over the first five seasons she played in a total of 34 games for four teams. Most of her court time came overseas, where she played in various international leagues.
That all changed in 2013 after Quigley was signed as a free agent by the Sky.
“It’s just a whole other level than college,” Quigley said of the WNBA. “You’re playing with people who are eight, nine years older than you with a lot of experience and maturity.
“You’re just young and you don’t know a lot at that point. Some things you just don’t learn until you’re a little bit older.”
Coaching could very well be in Quigley’s future, but right now she’s in the prime of her basketball life.
And having the time of it.
“I’m still playing in Europe (during the offseason), so that hasn’t changed,” Quigley said. “I think maybe now I just do more preventative exercises in the weight room and I eat better. I try not to run myself into the ground as much.
“Everything feels great so far. I take care of myself and work hard. I’ll play as long as my body will allow me to.”