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Chicago Sky star Candace Parker talks championship, visibility for women in basketball, and motherhood

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Sky's Candace Parker has had quite the offseason, from celebrating a WNBA Championship title to working as in-studio analyst for the NCAA Tournament, to the birth of her son, Airr.

CBS 2's Marshall Harris caught up with Naperville's finest as she catches her breath before a run at a Sky repeat. She said she is very pleased to be working as an analyst.

"Anytime basketball is on – it doesn't matter if it's overseas basketball, if it's college, if it's pro, if it's semipro whatever it is – I'm watching. And so to be able to have – and I say the second best job because I think the first best job is playing basketball – to be able to commentate, this is something I would do at home on my couch," she said. "So I think it's amazing to be able to do it alongside some of the best that have ever played the game."

The last time Harris talked with Parker, she was still soaking in the Sky's WNBA Championship. She still calls it all "amazing."

"I think going back home and winning a championship, I couldn't have dreamed it any better, and especially not having a perfect season, you know? We had ups and downs. We weren't playing very well throughout the season; came in as a sixth seed," Parker said. "So I think it's just – it was amazing to be able to do it with the group that we had, but also to do it in front of the very people that saw me first pick up a basketball."

Chicago Sky v Washington Mystics
Candace Parker #3 of the Chicago Sky reacts during the second half of the game against the Washington Mystics at Entertainment & Sports Arena on May 15, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Scott Taetsch / Getty Images

As to the prospect for another championship, Parker discouraged looking too far out in the future.

"Listen, I understand the ins and outs, and all that goes into a championship, so I've learned in my young – I won't say young career, because I'm kind of old – but I've learned in my long career that, you know, when you start looking too far out, that's when you forget about today and the importance of today," she said. "We're no longer the hunter. We're the hunted. So there's pressure that comes with that as well."

Parker also partnered with Degree this year to urge people to fill out both men's and women's brackets for the NCAA Tournament.

"A lot of times in March, a lot of people fill out a bracket, but we want people to fill out brackets, and so that's what we did this year is to team up and encourage people to fill out a women's bracket as well – because I think visibility is key," she said. "You have to see it on television. You have to fall in love with it in March. And then from there, you know, I think the game continues to grow in terms of attention and visibility, and you know, that buzz that March Madness creates."

Parker and her wife, Anna Petrakova, announced the birth of baby Airr in February. Parker also has a 12-year-old daughter, Lailaa.

"Whether I win, whether I lose, whether I do well on air, you know, broadcasting, analyzing, whatever – I'm mom at home," Parker said.

Marshall asked Parker if she ever gets a true break these days. She said naps are a thing that she loves, but they're not an option lately with a newborn.

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