Chicago Sky standout’s rise started with scholarship to private school

Chicago Sky standout’s rise started with scholarship to private school

Allie Quigley’s team just brought Chicago the WNBA championship, but her success story started with someone donating a scholarship that let her and her siblings attend private school. The result: lessons that built a champion.

As the city celebrates the Chicago Sky’s WNBA championship, one player who’s been through the team’s highs and lows got a boost in life from a donor who let her and her siblings attend Joliet’s parochial schools.

Alexandria “Allie” Quigley lost her dad when she was young, but her foundation at Catholic schools and through college put her on the path to the championship. A donor made that possible.

“I feel like we were lucky. My brothers and sister and I were able to get scholarships to have a Catholic education. We lost our dad when we were young, and my mom, a young mom herself, took care of us four kids. I think we were all under 7 years old at that time,” she said.

She said youngsters deserve a chance to thrive, and life too often gets in the way of their potential.

“I think it’s really important to have that opportunity for families that may have the same kind of struggles that we had; whether it’s a single-parent household or maybe one of the parents lost a job or just be it the fact that wherever you grew up economically, I think it’s important that everyone has that opportunity to have an amazing education,” she said.

“I started learning about [the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit program] maybe a year or two ago. Once I learned what it was about, it kind of made me think back to my childhood, realizing how much scholarships helped me. So, the Empower Illinois tax credit program is something that really hits home for me, personally, and for my family and my brothers and sister.”

Quigley led the Sky with 26 points in Game 4 of the WNBA championship. She started the rally that won the game, with three 3-point shots in the fourth quarter.

She learned about the importance of family in Joliet’s Catholic schools. After the championship win, she talked about her Sky teammates in those terms.

“We did this for each other. We had a breaking point a month ago where we all looked at each other and we said, ‘Who are we going to play for?’ The first thing Candace [Parker] said was she was going to play for me, and it made me want to play harder,” Quigley told the Chicago Tribune.

“In the end, we all wanted to play for each other, and that’s what you saw tonight.”

Quigley is a donor to the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit program: “I feel like it’s so important to be able to help other families the way we were always helped. And it just feels really good to be able to give back in that way.”

State lawmakers in the spring extended the scholarship program to 2023, but they have a chance to build more champions. They can do so by making the tax credit scholarship permanent during the current legislative veto session.

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