This post is part of a series on WNBA coaching staffs in order to better understand each staff’s history and experience in women’s basketball and the game of basketball more widely.
Head Coach: Amber Stocks
Amber Stocks enters her second season as GM and head coach for the Chicago Sky in her fourth year in the league, but her time in women’s basketball goes back a couple of decades to her time as a player at the University of Cincinnati. Stocks played 116 games, starting 99, for the Bearcats from 1995 to 1999. She was also a track and field athlete in college and earned and Exercise and Sport Science degree.
Following her playing days, she spent one year as strength and condition coach at Notre Dame from 1999 to 2000. She followed up that experience by working under Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee from 2000 to 2002, including two regular season SEC Championships and the 2002 Final Four.
Her longest coaching stint came back in Ohio as assistant to Kevin McGuff at Xavier University from 2002 to 2006 and again from 2007 to 2009, including five 20-win seasons and six national postseason tournament appearances.
From 2009 to 2013, Amber served as Program Director and Head Coach for the Tucson HEAT Basketball Association, a non-profit basketball team for boys and girls from grade 3 to grade 12. She has also spent time as an analyst on ESPN3, the Big East Digital Network, and FoxSports.
She spent two years as assistant coach under Brian Agler with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2015 and again in the 2016 season that ended in a Sparks championship. After that season, she was hired in Chicago. Her first season with the Sky ended with a 12 – 22 record, missing out on the playoffs and securing the third and fourth picks in the 2018 WNBA Draft which brought in Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams.
Some interesting connections:
- Amber’s time at Notre Dame overlapped with the era of future NCAA champions and WNBA stars Ruth Riley and Niele Ivey. Riley was a two-time champion in the WNBA, including a Finals MVP in 2003. Ivey played for several years for the Indiana Fever, Detroit Shock, and Phoenix Mercury, and is now an assistant on Muffett McGraw’s staff at Notre Dame.
- Stocks’ time at Tennessee was spent surrounded by legendary coaches in women’s basketball, starting with Pat Summitt and including Holly Warlick (current Lady Vols head coach) and Mickie DeMoss (2018 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee). She also helped coach several future WNBA All-Stars, including Tamika Catchings and Kara Lawson.
- Amber helped coach Amber Harris, a 2011 Xavier graduate who was drafted fourth overall in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx. Harris is a two-time WNBA champion with the Lynx and last played for the Sky under Stocks. She also coached the eighth pick that year, center Ta’Shia Phillips, who played for the Washington Mystics and New York Liberty.
- Amber’s co-assistant on the Sparks staff in 2015 was current Connecticut Sun head coach, Curt Miller.
Assistant Coach: Carla Morrow
This is Carla Morrow’s second summer in the WNBA as assistant coach for the Sky. Morrow played at the University of Tulsa from 1998 to 2002 and was notable as the first player with 1,000 points and 600 rebounds. In 2002, she became the first Tulsa graduate to sign a professional contract when she signed as a free agent with the Seattle Storm for their training camp.
She was the head coach of the freshman and varsity teams at Tulsa Central High School during the 2002-2003 season.
Carla spent 2004 and 2005 at Missouri State as director of basketball operations, followed by two years in Colorado in the same position.
In 2007, Morrow joined the Xavier women’s basketball staff as assistant under Kevin McGuff, a position she would maintain until 2017, when she left to join Stocks’ staff in Chicago. During that time, the Musketeers went 184-128 and four NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Elite Eight in 2010. From 2007 to 2009, Morrow and Stocks were both on the staff.
Assistant Coach: Awvee Storey
Awvee joins the Chicago Sky coaching staff in 2018 but has deep ties in Chicago. He was born in Chicago, playing high school basketball at Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois. He went on to play college ball at the University of Illinois, followed by his transfer to Arizona State University, where he finished out his eligibility. As a 6-6 guard, Storey posted 16 double-doubles in 85 games.
He went undrafted in the 2002 NBA Draft and spent three years playing overseas in South Korea in Venezuela before signing with the New Jersey Nets in 2004. He split the remainder of his professional playing career between overseas contracts and the NBA, playing for the Washington Wizards in 2005 and 2006 followed by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2007 and 2008. He last played professionally in the Philippines in 2010.
He has been a part of the WNBA for seven years, spending that time as a player personnel manager for the Washington Mystics before joining Stocks’ staff.