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Candace Parker For Muscle Milk x The Lifting Project x National Fitness Campaign

The storied and still-ongoing career of Candace Parker will be discussed for years to come as she stands as one of the most decorated basketball players of her era. Now a member of the Las Vegas Aces, Parker, via her partnership with Muscle Milk, spoke with CASSIUSLIFE about a new campaign centered on making fitness accessible to all.

Candace Parker was the number one overall draft pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, making the All-Star team five times and winning the 2016 WNBA championship and WNBA Finals MVP honors. Parker then joined the Chicago Sky, bringing her close to her hometown, and helped the squad win the 2021 WNBA Championship.

Now a member of the Aces, Parker brings veteran leadership and winning qualities to a team making an impressive run in this current WNBA season. In between taking the court, Parker’s new campaign with Muscle Milk and The Lifting Project in collaboration with the National Fitness Campaign is underway and the seven-time All-Star was gracious enough with her time to speak with us. Check it out below.

CASSIUSLIFE: Talk to us a bit about your work with Muscle Milk and joining forces with the National Fitness Campaign (NFC). How did this partnership come about?

Candace Parker: I have an ongoing partnership with Muscle Milk and we’re on a mission to make fitness more accessible through The Lifting Project. Now in The Lifting Project’s second year, we’re working together with the National Fitness Campaign organization to build a public outdoor Muscle Milk Fitness Court that’s easily accessible through public infrastructure. Exercisers get to choose the final location, selecting from finalist cities Los Angeles, Orlando, or Atlanta. These cities were chosen based on where we could address the greatest need based on population density and the need for accessible outdoor fitness.

CL: The Lifting Project aims its efforts towards making fitness accessible. Can you share with us some examples of what that looks like?

CP: Some people feel intimidated in traditional gym spaces or lack the right fitness resources. The Muscle Milk Fitness Court is about providing a free, easily accessible, safe space for all to work out, 24/7. Best of all, it’s accessible to a variety of different athletic abilities.

CL: You have a storied and highly-decorated basketball career and now you’re a member of the Las Vegas Aces. One, how cool is it that this team is also connected to your nickname, but secondly, tell us about how excited you are to run it up with your new team.

CP: It’s interesting in terms of ‘Ace’ and Aces. What’s even crazier is one of the player-exclusive shoes that I did has ace cards on it and they’re done in red and black. We had no idea at the time when we were doing that with Adidas that I’d end up with the Aces. Being part of the team has been great so far in terms of the learning curve and the experience. I came here to win and so far, that’s what we’re doing.

CLThe WNBA is starting to get the respect it long deserved. Women’s basketball owned all of the drama during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. How can we as fans continue to help grow the sport, and are you surprised by the renewed interest in women’s basketball?

Every year the love and support for women’s basketball grows and I’m excited for the future of the sport so my kids can see all the progress made when they’re older. I’m not surprised by the interest because our fans are the best and incredibly passionate.

CL: As a professional athlete, you certainly have a number of routines. Can you share how you prep for games and what Muscle Milk products you’re grabbing along the way?

I start my day with a light breakfast and then head to shootaround. Then I eat a solid lunch and take a nap – which is important to my routine. Following my nap, I shower and then grab a Muscle Milk as I head to the game. Right after the game, I drink another Muscle Milk. Protein is essential post-workout and game. It’s packed full of protein and the nutrients that I need to recover and push through to the next workout or game. Muscle Milk’s vanilla and strawberry protein shakes are my favorites – I always have those on hand.”

CL: Fitness looks different for others than it might for someone who gives it their all on the court. What are some of the ways folks who want to move more might benefit from light to moderate exercise?

CP: I would say that the first step is to just get up and move. Even for just ten minutes, find something that makes your heart rate elevated and that feels good for you. At the beginning of the New Year, we often make these aggressive workout regimens, and it’s hard to stick to something if you’re going from zero to 100. Carve out ten minutes a day to move your body – that can even be a walk around your neighborhood. Those ten minutes can turn into 20 minutes and then into 30 minutes.

CL: As an analyst for NBA on TNT, you’ve had an opportunity to share your many years of insight when it comes to basketball and hold your own against tried-and-true veterans on television. How has the experience been thus far being one of the few women who cover the sport in such vivid detail?

CP: I am very excited to be able to cover sports just as a fan in general. To cover it with people I grew up idolizing and watching has been an even greater experience. To learn the game from one of the best big men in the world, to learn the game from one of the best two guards of all time, learning the game from one of the best sixth men – I think it’s just unbelievable to be able to have that experience on set and to be able to give an opinion on the game in my light.

CL: Lastly, what’s next for Candace “Ace” Parker that fans can look forward to?

I’ve got plenty of this season left and I’m ready to battle for another championship. Off the court, I want to continue to grow the sport and am looking forward to seeing the Muscle Milk Fitness Court come to life and increase access to strength.

Voting for the Muscle Mulk Fitness Court wrapped on July 7 and a winning city will be announced soon.

Keep up with Candace Parker via Instagram here.

Photo: Muscle Milk