Candace Parker of the Chicago Sky, pictured here on July 10, 2021, will grace the cover of “NBA 2K,” a spot usually saved for male NBA players.
(CNN)A bestselling basketball video game will, for the first time ever, feature a woman athlete on its cover.
Candace Parker, of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky, will be on the cover of a special edition of “NBA 2K22.” Her appearance marks the first time a female athlete will be on one of the covers for the game, “NBA 2K” announced Wednesday.
“The cover of NBA 2K is such a pivotal platform to inspire young ballers, and I wanted future WNBA stars to know that they can be cover athletes too,” Parker said in a statement.
“Representation matters, so this is a special moment of progress for the sport and the series.“
On Twitter, Parker said she is “extremely proud and humbled” by the cover.
“I’m hopeful there will be many more badass females to follow,”
Parker will be featured on the North American GameStop Exclusive Edition of the game celebrating the WNBA’s 25th anniversary, while the NBA’s Luka Dončić will be featured on the Standard Edition. Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be featured on another edition recognizing the 75th anniversary of the NBA.
Parker attributed the new cover to the growing popularity of the WNBA. The most recent season saw ratings for the WNBA finals go up 15%, and players in the league have become increasingly visible.
“To be part of this historic cover is a testament to the growth and rising popularity of the women’s game,” Parker said in her statement.
“I’m proud to be the first female cover athlete to be the face of NBA 2K.”
The game is currently available for preorder and will be released on September 10.