While she admits that becoming a mother has made her a better basketball player, WNBA star Candace says that it has been a challenge to juggle motherhood with her burgeoning career.


“The balance was tough at first, but I have the hang of things now,” she tells ESPN . “I have an extremely good support system in my family and friends, who help me in any way I need them. When I became a mother, I knew it wasn’t about me anymore. The times of sleeping until noon and being able to just do what I want were over. I do not feel in this day in age you should have to sacrifice your career for being a mother and vice versa. Obviously, being a mom comes first, but basketball is extremely important to me. I have never spent a night away from Lailaa and I thank God that she is a fantastic traveler and an even better kid.”

For almost half of the year, Parker lives abroad and plays for the UMMC club in Ekaterinburg, in central Russia.  And guess who travels with her abroad?  Her daughter Lailaa Williams, 20 months, of course.

“The team I play for is extremely accommodating and understanding of my situation of being a professional athlete [who is] also a mother,” says Parker. “My cousin, Kellie, is overseas and watches Lailaa for me while I am at practice or games. Lailaa is an amazing child that adapts to every situation that she is in. She has more stamps in her passport and frequent-flier miles before her second birthday than most people get in a lifetime. Playing basketball and being a mom takes a lot of patience, but it is extremely rewarding.”

Photo by Saul Young

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