WATCH: Sky unveils 2021 championship banner, rings
Kahleah Copper opened the wooden box, gasped, put her hand over her mouth and needed a couple of steps to steady herself.
Inside the box was the 2021 WNBA championship ring and Copper — the Finals MVP — was caught up in the moment as she caught a glimpse of the hardware for the first time.
She was the last of the Sky players to receive the championship ring during Tuesday’s ceremony at Wintrust Arena.
Copper averaged 17 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in the Finals last season as the Sky took down the Phoenix Mercury in 4 games for the franchise’s first championship in its 17-year history.
“We’re gonna do it again,” Sky GM and head coach James Wade said as he took the microphone and addressed the fans Tuesday night.
A few minutes later, to a deafening roar from the crowd in attendance, the championship banner was raised and Copper huddled together with her teammates and coaches to pose for pictures with smiles plastered all over their faces.
Illinois natives Candace Parker and Allie Quigley also drew raucous ovations from the fans as they strolled across the hardwood to receive their rings along with fellow players Courtney Vandersloot, Dana Evans, Azurá Stevens and Copper.
The ring itself is a very cool piece of craftmanship with plenty of nods to the city of Chicago.
Created by William Levine Fine Jewels, it is made out of yellow gold and white gold and has 87 full cut diamonds totaling 2.25 carats.
The top of the ring says “WNBA Champions” and has Willis Tower made out of 10 diamonds.
“2021” is written on the side in gold along with the Chicago Sky logo, each recipient’s last name and uniform number and the WNBA championship trophy in diamonds. The sides also have images of the John Hancock Building, Water Tower and the Chicago bean in 10-karat gold.
As a final touch, each ring is also engraved with the Sky’s results in each round of the 2021 playoffs:
Wade had some say in how the ring was designed, as he explained postgame Tuesday:
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert began the pregame festivities and then hopped on the Marquee Sports Network broadcast during the game:
Two-and-a-half hours after the championship ceremony concluded, DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win” reverberated throughout the arena as the Sky put the finishing touches on a 95-90 victory over the Indiana Fever.
Copper and Quigley finished with 12 points apiece while Parker led the Sky with 16 points. Vandersloot had a well-rounded game with 14 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.