Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley and other WNBA players will miss at least a few games of the upcoming season to compete in the Eurobasket tournament next month.
Quigley, who was the WNBA sixth person of the year last season, will play for the Hungarian national team and leave after the Sky’s first two games against Indiana and at Tulsa on June 5 and 6.
”It’s part of my obligations with Hungary,” Quigley said. ”We’ll see how far we go.”
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The 28-year-old guard averaged a career-best 11.2 points last season while playing nearly 25 minutes a game to help Chicago reach the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. She signed a multiyear contract with the team in the offseason.
The DePaul grad is one of a handful of WNBA players who will compete in the Eurobasket tournament, which runs from June 11-28. New York’s Epiphanny Prince (Russia), Los Angeles’ Kristi Toliver (Slovakia), Indiana’s Shavonte Zellous (Croatia), Atlanta’s Celine Dumerc (France) and Minnesota’s Anna Cruz (Spain) are among those who will miss WNBA games and face potential fines from their teams or the league.
The winner of the Eurobasket earns a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
”Yeah, it would be cool to play in the Olympics,” Quigley said. ”We’ll see.”
Toliver, Zellous, Cruz, Dumerc and Prince are practicing with their national teams and will miss the start of the WNBA season, which begins June 5.
It’s not the first time Chicago has dealt with a player missing games because of an international commitment. Prince, who previously played for the Sky, tried to help Russia qualify for the world championship and missed part of the 2013 WNBA season.
”It’s part of the equation and we had to deal with it with Prince, had to deal with it with Shay Murphy, it’s no different in terms of preparation than if it’s an injured player,” Chicago Sky coach and general manager Pokey Chatman said. ”You have to move on and deal with it.”
The teams and the WNBA have the option to fine players for the missed games. The players could be fined up to 2.5 percent of their base salary for each game missed up to a maximum of 20 percent total, according the recent collective bargaining agreement between the WNBA and players’ union.
The salary for a four-month WNBA season ranges from $45,000 for rookies to $108,000 for veterans.
”I think the rule is meant to keep some consistency how these fines would be handled,” Chicago Sky owner Michael Alter said. ”So if the teams didn’t want to do it, the league would step up. This is not meant to be punitive. There’s a cost to the league and teams. That’s the choice, if you want to make it. There have to be some consequences within reason.”
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