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Candace Parker

Candace Parker attends 2018 NBA Awards Show — Photo by EugenePowers

On Tuesday, December 14, Chicago Sky player Candace Parker, 35, posted on Instagram about her wife for the first time, even though they’ve been married for two years. It was the first time she’d publicly acknowledged being part of the LGBTQ community.

“Happy Anniversary Моя жена! 2 years ago, I got to marry my best friend in front of our close family and friends. My heart could have exploded. I cried like a baby….To know me or you is to know our love. This journey hasn’t been easy. I am proud of us and what we have built and who we have grown to become both individually and together,” Parker wrote in the caption.


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“Моя жена” means “my wife” in Russian and references Anna Petrakova, 37, a Russian professional basketball player.

Parker also made another exciting announcement in her post. Petrakova is pregnant!

“We’ve always dreamed of growing our family….it’s surreal that we now have a baby on the way! Lailaa is pumped to be a big sister! You couldn’t be more beautiful! Glowing, while understanding that I have to constantly love, kiss, and talk to your belly AND yes… play Jay-Z for the baby.”

Parker has played for the WNBA since 2008 and this year was named to The W25, the league’s list of the 25 greatest players in their history. She currently plays for the Chicago Sky, the team that won the WNBA championship this year. At least 25% of the players competing in the WNBA postseason in 2021 were out as LGBTQ+.

Parker’s coming out post also referenced her first daughter, Lailaa Williams, who she said “is pumped to be a big sister.” Williams is the daughter of Parker’s ex-husband, basketball player Shelden Williams.

“Thank you for always loving Lailaa as your own, being my calm, my support, my voice of reason, my laughs, my cuddles, my dance in the rain, my happy, my home,” Parker’s post continued. “Thanks for constantly challenging me and telling me when I’m wrong. I LOVE YOU, I appreciate you, I value you and what we have.”

After these gorgeous wedding photos, we’re excited for the cute baby photos next year!



Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager is the author of the award-winning Queer, There, and Everywhere: 27 People Who Changed the World, Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History, Kind Like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders, and A Child's Introduction to Pride: The Inspirational History and Culture of the LGBTQIA+ Community. Learn more about her speaking, writing, and more at www.sarahprager.com.