Chicago Sky superstar Candace Parker will grace the cover of a special edition of the video game NBA 2K22 later this year, marking the first time a female basketball player will be featured in the franchise’s history, Take-Two Interactive Software announced Wednesday.
Parker will appear on the game’s WNBA 25th Anniversary special edition, which is scheduled to be released on September 10.
This version will be available only in the United States and Canada at GameStop and EB Games.
Dallas Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic will be the cover athlete for the game’s regular edition, and a third version of the game—the NBA 75th Anniversary Edition— will feature Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
“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 told ESPN in an interview. “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.
Parker, 35, is one of the most accomplished players in the history of the WNBA, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this season. Her lengthy resume includes two MVP awards, six All-Star appearances and a WNBA championship. The future Hall of Famer has also helped Team USA capture two Olympic gold medals. Parker spent the first 13 seasons of her WNBA career in Los Angeles playing for the Sparks after being selected as No.1 overall pick in the 2008 draft, before joining Chicago this season. She is averaging 13.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the Sky. “I eat, sleep and breathe basketball,” Parker told ESPN, adding that she also “grew up a video game fanatic,” which makes this opportunity “really the perfect storm because there are a lot of other people well deserving of this and I know that.” In addition to 2K, Parker has endorsement deals with Adidas and JBL Audio.
In 2008, Parker became the first player in WNBA history to earn MVP and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season.
2K is the best-selling basketball video game for Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., which reported a record $3.37 billion in revenue last year.
2.3 million. That’s the number of NBA2K’s daily players worldwide.