Candace Parker Talks Signing with Las Vegas Aces to Be Closer to Family: 'The Most Important'

Candace Parker
Candace Parker

Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty

WNBA star Candace Parker says that a major factor in her decision to sign with the Las Vegas Aces after two seasons with the Chicago Sky was the chance to be closer to family.

"I just really think at this point in my career, to be able to compete for a championship and to do it in front of my family, is the most important," Parker, 36, tells PEOPLE.

Parker's family is "West Coast-based," she says, and with her daughter Lailaa getting ready to start high school next year, the WNBA star looks forward to being closer to home than when she played for the Chicago Sky.

"I think first and foremost, it was to be able to get home and see her games and take her to school on off days; stuff like that while she's still in school," says Parker, who shares one-year-old son Airr Larry Petrakov Parker with her wife Anna Petrakov and is mom to Lailaa, 12, from a previous relationship.

Parker, Petrakova and the kids will all relocate to Las Vegas this summer, she shares. "We look forward to trying to figure out how to deal with the heat."

RELATED: Candace Parker Says It's 'Amazing' to Be a Mother to a Baby Over a Decade After Welcoming First Child

Other than Las Vegas's scorching temperature, Parker says her family is "really excited about the move" to Nevada. In addition to joining the WNBA's reigning champions, she'll get to play alongside Chelsea Gray, who Parker says is "more like family than friends."

In fact, Gray, 30, and her wife are godparents to Parker's young son. Parker tells PEOPLE that she's really excited to bring their families closer. "To be reunited with her on the court, but off the court mostly," and being able to "hang out and go to dinner, play skates, all that good stuff," is what she's looking forward to the most.

Gray helped lead the Las Vegas Aces to the 2022 WNBA championship alongside MVP A'ja Wilson and All-Star Kelsey Plum. "To play with Kelsey and A'ja, I think it's going to be really, really cool," she says.

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Before she starts preparing for the upcoming WNBA season, Parker will make history as the first woman to call the NBA All-Sar Game on Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Candace Parker Talks Signing with Las Vegas Aces
Candace Parker Talks Signing with Las Vegas Aces

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty

"I am so excited," Parker says of the opportunity to call the game. "Obviously, I grew up the biggest fan of the NBA and especially NBA All-Star, and to be able to call the game, it's unbelievable. I think childhood Candace is in disbelief right now just to be able to have a courtside seat, to be able to talk basketball and do it with two of my idols growing up as well, Reggie Miller and Brian Anderson."

RELATED: WNBA Star Candace Parker Welcomes Baby with Wife Anna Petrakova: 'We Are in Absolute Love'

The 72nd NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia on Sunday, Feb. 19 will be televised on TNT — the network's 21st consecutive year airing the All-Star Game — from Vivint Arena, with Team LeBron taking on Team Giannis, featuring starters Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and Zion Williamson.