Chicago Sky WNBA guard Allie Quigley kicks off reading program at Troy

Offers advice to students on diligence, healthy living and the importance of reading

Troy Middle School eighth-grader Mikayla Rivera got to meet one of the most accomplished WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) players on her favorite team this week. She got to ask Allie Quigley, guard with the Chicago Sky, questions and even got her autograph and a photo taken with the superstar.

Mikayla, who also is on the Troy Middle School Basketball Team, said it was great meeting her.

Alexandria “Allie” Quigley visited the school to help kick off its “One Book One School” program, where students this year will read, “The Crossover,” by Kwame Alexander. The book is a young adult “novel in verse” about basketball, family and camaraderie.

At the T.M.S. assembly, Quigley talked about all three.

hicago Sky guard Allie Quigley with Troy Middle School Basketball Team member Mikayla Rivera

Growing up in Joliet, she played basketball since she was five years old. With the WNBA, her career with the Chicago Sky began in 2013. Her career highlights include setting a record for most shots made in an All-Star three-point competition across both the NBA and WNBA, sinking 20 of 25; Chicago Sky’s all-time leading scorer; and three-time WNBA All-Star.

But before joining the Sky, she played with the Seattle Storm, Indiana Fever, San Antonio Silver Stars and the Phoenix Mercury. Being cut from those four teams after short stints with them led her to question her career choice. It was support from family and friends and coaches who helped get her through those tough years, she said.

“I thought, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do this,’” she said. “But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. . . The love of playing kept me going, and my family and friends always gave me confidence.”

Quigley told the students that it takes a lot of dedication to be a professional sports player. She also makes sure she eats foods that are as healthy and clean as possible. Although when she returns from playing on the European teams during the WNBA’s off season, she makes sure she hits Lou Malnati’s Pizza and Portillo’s.

Quigley is a reader, too, and said she was happy to support Troy’s reading program. The last book she read was, “Love and Justice, A Story of Triumph on Two Different Courts,” by Maya Moore.

“Reading is really good for the mind,” Quigley said. “It helps you in so many aspects in school. It stimulates your brain in a healthy way.”

Troy 30-C LRC Facilitator Carrie Upjohn said Troy’s “One Book One School” program is offered to students purely for the enjoyment of reading. There are no grades given for the program.

“We want our kids to be able to experience the joy of reading,” she said. “This is a great book, and the students will enjoy reading it and discover life lessons from it.”

In addition to Troy Middle School, also participating in Troy’s “One Book One School” program this year are Troy Craughwell Elementary School, Troy Cronin Elementary School, Troy Heritage Trail Elementary School, Troy Hofer Elementary School and Troy Shorewood Elementary School.

As far as Quigley’s career, she has decided to take a break from professional basketball this upcoming season.

Troy Middle School is a Troy Community School District 30-C school.