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Sparks’ Candace Parker Ignores Slights, Heeding Pat Summitt’s Lessons

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The Sparks’ Candace Parker defending against the Lynx’s Anna Cruz on Sunday in the W.N.B.A. finals. Game 5 is Thursday.

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Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker has attained almost every accolade possible during her career.

Without much rhyme or reason, the individual honors did not come Parker’s way this season, though. She was surprisingly left off the United States roster for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. On Friday, when the league announced its all-W.N.B.A. first and second teams, Parker’s name was absent.

But Parker said that did not stress her out, displaying an attitude she cultivated while in college at Tennessee under the tutelage of the Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt. Together, they led the Lady Volunteers to two national championships.

Because she has heeded Summitt’s lessons, Parker has had a more important goal come into focus: With a Sparks victory in Thursday’s decisive Game 5 of the W.N.B.A. finals, Parker would capture her first title.

“It’s always trying to put your team in a position to win,”…

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