'Storybook ending': Chicago Sky's Allie Quigley wins WNBA 3-point contest for record fourth and final time

CHICAGO -- Allie Quigley said this time she means it: She is retiring from the WNBA All-Star 3-point shooting contest.

But her finish was spectacular. Quigley won the event for the fourth time Saturday, something no one else has done in either the WNBA or NBA.

"Retired in my hometown: It's a good storybook ending, I'd say," Quigley said. She grew up in Joliet, part of the greater Chicago area, and played collegiately at DePaul. She previously won the competition in 2017, 2018 and 2021. She went out in the first round in 2019, and there was no All-Star Game during the COVID-19 bubble season in 2020.

Quigley, who turned 36 in June, is still going strong as a player, averaging 10.8 points per game for the defending WNBA champion Sky, who lead the WNBA at 16-6. But the pressure of the 3-point contest actually made her say she wouldn't do it again after winning her third title last year, in Las Vegas.

That was before the 2022 All-Star Game was awarded to Chicago. She said she realized about three weeks ago she needed to do the competition one more time.

Saturday at McCormick Place, across the street from Sky's Wintrust Arena home, Quigley won the first round with 26 points, and then in the final round faced Washington's Ariel Atkins and Atlanta's Rhyne Howard, who each had 24 first-round points. Quigley then easily took the title again, totaling 30 points to Atkins' 21 and Howard's 14.

Quigley's Sky teammates were cheering her on, including her wife, fellow guard Courtney Vandersloot and Candace Parker, who wore Parker's No. 14 DePaul jersey. Both Parker and Quigley were drafted in 2008, with Parker at No. 1 and Quigley at No. 22 in the second round. Quigley was cut five times by four teams before sticking in the WNBA for good with Chicago in 2013.

One thing she could always do was shoot, and she's made herself into one of the best 3-point shooters the WNBA has ever had.

"Sometimes things you really want to accomplish are not going to happen right away," Quigley said. "It's a journey, even for first-round picks. You've just got to stay the course, you've gotta be coachable, a good teammate and just continue to learn."

Quigley cited players such as Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter, Sue Bird and Katie Smith as influential to her when she was a young player. She also has spent considerable time playing overseas, which has sharpened her game.

But to be a great 3-point shooter, nothing can substitute for repetition. It takes a lot of work. New York's Sabrina Ionescu, who won the skills challenge with youth player Zoe Brooks, complimented Quigley for her dominance in the 3-point shooting contest.

"I feel like that contest should be named after her," Ionescu said.

Ionescu, the No. 1 pick in 2020, already has two triple-doubles this year and seems perfect for the skills challenge, which combines dribbling, passing and shooting drills. Eight WNBA players competed in the challenge, paired with eight youth players in town for the Nike Nationals.

Ionescu's partner, Brooks, is a 5-foot-9 guard from Holmdel, N.J., who committed to the Wolfpack in June.

"It was fun to be partnered with her, and she was super competitive as well," Ionescu said. "She asked me if I was nervous, and I told her, 'Yes!' What an amazing opportunity for these kids to be out here watching, interacting, taking pictures, asking questions.

"I'm super excited to represent New York and bring this back home."

Ionescu will be playing in Sunday's All-Star Game (1 p.m. ET, ABC). Quigley will not, but four of her Sky teammates will: Parker, Vandersloot, Kahleah Copper and Emma Meesseman. And the Sky's James Wade is one of the All-Star coaches, along with Las Vegas' Becky Hammon.

Quigley was asked to pick future 3-point contest favorites now that she is retired from the event and she mentioned Ionescu and Howard, both No. 1 draft picks. No chance she might go for a fifth title?

"This is it," Quigley said, smiling. "You won't see me again."