Along the trails recently, I have gotten involved in a few conversations about Allie Quigley with friends who have followed her career closely.
What the Joliet Catholic Academy graduate and Chicago Sky guard has been doing is remarkable.
Quigley is in her ninth WNBA season. This season, her first as a full-time starter, she was chosen to participate in the league’s all-star game for the first time. While in Seattle for that event, she also won the Three-Point Contest.
No surprise there as Quigley leads the league in 3-point percentage. Entering Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Sparks, she has hit 47.1 percent (65 of 138) from long range and is shooting .529 overall (154 of 291), which ranks seventh in the league. She also has made 34 of 40 free throws, an .850 mark.
Quigley has been nothing if not consistent. She has played an average of 32.3 minutes and put up 17.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists. She has scored in double figures in 23 of the 24 games in which she has played.
A couple of points made during the conversations I have had about Quigley are, first, she has been shooting so well all season that she should be getting more shots. And second, at age 31, she has become much more effective on the defensive end of the floor. If defense was holding her back at all earlier in her career, that no longer is the case.
It’s a shame the Sky have been struggling this season. Their record is 11-16 heading into Friday night’s game at Allstate Arena against the Los Angeles Sparks. After Friday, only six games remain in the regular season, so a playoff berth is unlikely.
In a sense, Quigley’s WNBA career is not unlike the baseball career of Ron Coomer (Lockport), the current Cubs radio analyst who spent nine years in the minor leagues before getting a chance to break into the majors at age 28. He then played nine seasons in the big show and was an American League All-Star when he played for the Minnesota Twins in 1999.
Coomer persevered. Quigley certainly has, too. She is a testament to the value of hard work.
PACERS SIGN MOORE
Ben Moore (Bolingbrook), after a solid four-year career at SMU, went undrafted in the NBA draft. However, he signed a contract as a free agent with the Indiana Pacers that carried through the NBA summer league. Now, the Pacers have signed him to the NBA G League.
In Moore’s senior season at SMU, he averaged 11.4 points and 7.8 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 forward will be designated as an affiliate player and join the Pacers’ G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Moore played five games with the Pacers’ summer league team in Orlando and averaged 3.8 points and 3.0 rebounds. They obviously liked what they saw from him.
The NBA G League is the successor to the NBA Development League (D-League) and has been renamed the NBA G League as part of a partnership between the NBA and Gatorade.
If you enjoy rooting for local coaches to make good, the fall affords the opportunity get behind the Minnesota Vikings, along with Army and Northern Illinois from the college ranks.
Mike Zimmer (Lockport), who underwent eight surgeries in seven months because of a detached retina in his right eye, is heading into his fourth season as the Vikings’ head coach and 24th season in the NFL. Last season, the Vikings finished third in the league defensively, and Zimmer, of course, is widely recognized as one of the best defensive coaches in the business.
On the other side of the ball, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a devastating injury late in the preseason. The Vikings then traded for Sam Bradford, who set an NFL completion percentage record at 71.6 percent. Give the head coach some credit there, as well.
Mike Monken (Joliet Central), meanwhile, is beginning his fourth season as head coach at Army. He has a 50-39 career record and is 6-18 during the Army rebuild.
Last season under Monken, Army beat Navy for the first time since 2001 and won a bowl game for the first time in six seasons. The last time the Black Knights accomplished both feats was 1984. Army was second in the nation in rushing offense and fourth in total defense last year.
Mike Uremovich (Providence) is entering his second season as NIU assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. He will work with tight ends and fullbacks.
Uremovich was a receiver at Providence during the 1990s, when the Celtics were perennial state-title contenders. He was the head coach at St. Francis from 2005 through 2011.