For the latest milestone in her sure-fire Hall of Fame career, WNBA superstar Candace Parker will be the first woman to be featured on an NBA 2K cover. Parker, who first captured the nation’s attention as a generational high school basketball prodigy before becoming a WNBA champion and MVP, spoke with ESPN about the honor of appearing on the cover of the popular gaming franchise.
“I grew up a video game fanatic, that’s what I did,” says The Chicago Sky forward. “To the point where my brothers would give me the fake controller when I was younger where I think I was playing and I wasn’t,” Parker tells ESPN. “All I wanted to do was just be like them. As a kid growing up, you dream of having your own shoe and dream of being in a video game. Those are an athlete as a kid’s dreams. To be able to experience that, I don’t take it lightly.”
Many aspiring ballers dream of gracing the cover of a basketball game, particularly NBA 2K, which has become the leading simulated basketball franchise in the gaming industry. However, while that goal has long been a realistic one for young men, Parker’s placement on the cover of this year’s edition gives that same hope to current and future generations of young women aspiring to compete at the highest levels of the sport.
A six-time WNBA All-Star, two-time WNBA MVP, and 2016 WNBA Finals MVP, Parker is also featured on the cover of the WNBA 25th Anniversary Special Edition of NBA 2K22, which will be released on Sept. 10. Despite the WNBA being added to 2K three years prior, the 2K22 version will be the first to include an edition with a player from the league, making the decision to put Parker on the cover a long-overdue, yet timely one.
In addition to Parker, the other 2K22 cover stars include Dallas Mavericks’ star guard Luka Doncic, who will be featured on the standard cover, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant, who will share the NBA 75th Anniversary Edition cover, and Washington Wizards’ Rui Hachimura, who will appear on a special edition cover that will only be available in Japan.
NBA 2K22 will be released on the PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Xbox consoles.