build a web site | fundraising | community | collect fees online | blogz
LOS ANGELES SPARKS
LOS ANGELES SPARKS:Sparks News  
 
 
Home Home
Sparks News Sparks News
Schedule/Scores Schedule/Scores
Locations Locations
Roster Roster
Cool Links Cool Links
WNBA Teams WNBA Teams
Guestbook Guestbook
All-Star Games All-Star Games
WNBA News WNBA News
Sparks History Sparks History
Game Photos Game Photos
LA Lakers LA Lakers

Admin

Las Vegas Local Weather
L.A. SPARKS
WebMaster T.
Las Vegas, Nevada
89128
 
  Sparks News  
 

Sparks NewsPage
.



Archer New

Monday, February 3

Magic Johnson's New L.A. Story

Feb. 5, 2014 – Earvin "Magic" Johnson's story speaks for itself. National champion at Michigan State. Three-time NBA Most Valuable Player. Five-time NBA champion. The Junior Sky-Hook. The emotional, inspirational 1992 NBA All-Star Game performance. The Dream Team in Barcelona. Slam-dunk member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

But, with Magic, the accomplishments didn't stop when he stepped off the floor. Neither did the story. He's now Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. Part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation charity.

 

 

And for WNBA fans, Johnson’s latest chapter is particularly page-turning.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles icon produced the ultimate Hollywood ending, joining forces with Dodgers controlling owner Mark R. Walter and other local investors to swoop in at the last minute to save the day in L.A.

But unlike the make-believe magic of Tinsletown, this Magic is real, and heavily invested in a new sequel: Sparks as WNBA Champions, Part Two.

 

"I love to win. I hate to lose. And I am raring to go," said Johnson to WNBA.com after the big press announcement at STAPLES Center. "This town is about championships, we all know that. L.A. is about winners. And we are very excited about the players and coaching staff and front office staff here. We will build on last season -- we didn't go as far as we wanted to go -- but we can build on that."

Johnson said that, in reigning MVP Candace Parker, he has just the Leading Lady to lead the Sparks in 2014 and beyond.

"We have a good starting point with having the best women basketball player in the world in Candace Parker," said Johnson before elaborating on the 2013 WNBA MVP. "Physically, Candace has it all. She can go inside. She can go outside. She can shoot it. She can pass it. She can dribble it -- with both hands. But her knowledge of the game, her Basketball I.Q. is off the charts. Candace knows the right basketball play to make and when to make it. That ability and her ability to make her teammates better -- which is the true sign of a champion -- that is what sets Candace apart."

 

 

A longtime supporter of the WNBA, Johnson was almost giddy when discussing his personal history with the Sparks and the opportunity to lead the franchise to new glory.

"I've been a fan since the first game, I was in the arena cheering on the Sparks in their first ever game. My wife, Cookie, and I have been going to games since the beginning," Johnson reminisced. "And I think the brand here, with this franchise -- which started with Lisa Leslie and my boy Coach [Michael] Cooper who led the Sparks to championships -- is strong, and our fan base is strong and we can grow even stronger."

Chief among Johnson's goals for the Sparks is to implement a few things he's learned over time, dating back to his days with the Showtime Lakers and his current experiences with the resurgent L.A. Dodgers.

"I remember with Dr. Buss, he made Lakers games THE place to be in L.A.," said Johnson. "The fan experience of an exciting brand of basketball and winning basketball games -- and championships -- was what it was all about. And with the Dodgers, our group has taken a team that was middle of the pack in attendance and excitement, and is now among the league leaders. We will work hard to improve the fan experience for our Sparks fans, who deserve it because they are the best basketball fans in the league."

One thing you likely won't see is Magic remonstrating on the court during games.

"No, we are not micro-managers and with a great coach like Carol Ross and her staff, and our great front office, I won't be involved on that level. I'll let the excellent people we have do their thing," said Johnson. "Now, if someone asks for advice for how to do something on the court, and the coaches are fully aware and supportive of my sharing my opinion, I would do that, of course. I'm a team player and it's all about winning."

Magic Johnson and the WNBA. A pairing straight out of central casting that Sparks fans hope will end up with Candace Parker and Company walking arm-in-arm with a WNBA Championship Trophy into the sunset.



Monday, February 3

Magic Johnson's New L.A. Story

Feb. 5, 2014 – Earvin "Magic" Johnson's story speaks for itself. National champion at Michigan State. Three-time NBA Most Valuable Player. Five-time NBA champion. The Junior Sky-Hook. The emotional, inspirational 1992 NBA All-Star Game performance. The Dream Team in Barcelona. Slam-dunk member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

But, with Magic, the accomplishments didn't stop when he stepped off the floor. Neither did the story. He's now Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. Part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation charity.

 

 

And for WNBA fans, Johnson’s latest chapter is particularly page-turning.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles icon produced the ultimate Hollywood ending, joining forces with Dodgers controlling owner Mark R. Walter and other local investors to swoop in at the last minute to save the day in L.A.

But unlike the make-believe magic of Tinsletown, this Magic is real, and heavily invested in a new sequel: Sparks as WNBA Champions, Part Two.

 

"I love to win. I hate to lose. And I am raring to go," said Johnson to WNBA.com after the big press announcement at STAPLES Center. "This town is about championships, we all know that. L.A. is about winners. And we are very excited about the players and coaching staff and front office staff here. We will build on last season -- we didn't go as far as we wanted to go -- but we can build on that."

Johnson said that, in reigning MVP Candace Parker, he has just the Leading Lady to lead the Sparks in 2014 and beyond.

"We have a good starting point with having the best women basketball player in the world in Candace Parker," said Johnson before elaborating on the 2013 WNBA MVP. "Physically, Candace has it all. She can go inside. She can go outside. She can shoot it. She can pass it. She can dribble it -- with both hands. But her knowledge of the game, her Basketball I.Q. is off the charts. Candace knows the right basketball play to make and when to make it. That ability and her ability to make her teammates better -- which is the true sign of a champion -- that is what sets Candace apart."

 

 

A longtime supporter of the WNBA, Johnson was almost giddy when discussing his personal history with the Sparks and the opportunity to lead the franchise to new glory.

"I've been a fan since the first game, I was in the arena cheering on the Sparks in their first ever game. My wife, Cookie, and I have been going to games since the beginning," Johnson reminisced. "And I think the brand here, with this franchise -- which started with Lisa Leslie and my boy Coach [Michael] Cooper who led the Sparks to championships -- is strong, and our fan base is strong and we can grow even stronger."

Chief among Johnson's goals for the Sparks is to implement a few things he's learned over time, dating back to his days with the Showtime Lakers and his current experiences with the resurgent L.A. Dodgers.

"I remember with Dr. Buss, he made Lakers games THE place to be in L.A.," said Johnson. "The fan experience of an exciting brand of basketball and winning basketball games -- and championships -- was what it was all about. And with the Dodgers, our group has taken a team that was middle of the pack in attendance and excitement, and is now among the league leaders. We will work hard to improve the fan experience for our Sparks fans, who deserve it because they are the best basketball fans in the league."

One thing you likely won't see is Magic remonstrating on the court during games.

"No, we are not micro-managers and with a great coach like Carol Ross and her staff, and our great front office, I won't be involved on that level. I'll let the excellent people we have do their thing," said Johnson. "Now, if someone asks for advice for how to do something on the court, and the coaches are fully aware and supportive of my sharing my opinion, I would do that, of course. I'm a team player and it's all about winning."

Magic Johnson and the WNBA. A pairing straight out of central casting that Sparks fans hope will end up with Candace Parker and Company walking arm-in-arm with a WNBA Championship Trophy into the sunset.



Thursday, April 3
SPARKS SIGN FREE AGENT GUARD CANDICE WIGGINS
LOS ANGELES –The Los Angeles Sparks have signed veteran free agent guard and former WNBA Champion Candice Wiggins, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to play for the Sparks and I am absolutely beside myself with joy and excitement for the incredible opportunity to play in Los Angeles and bring my talent back to California,” said Wiggins. “I'm ready to do whatever it takes to win and bring a WNBA Championship to the city of Los Angeles, and I know this era will truly be a Magic-al one. I’d also like to thank the Shock organization and the wonderful Tulsa fans for an incredible experience last season, it was truly special and unforgettable.”

The 2011 WNBA Champion joins the Sparks for her seventh WNBA season after spending the past six seasons with the Tulsa Shock (2013) and Minnesota Lynx (2008-2012). Acquired by Tulsa in a trade with Minnesota on March 1, 2013, Wiggins started 31 of 32 games played with the Shock, the most starts of her WNBA career. Playing under then head coach and current Sparks assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg, she averaged 10.1 points and a team-high 27.4 minutes per game.

“We are very excited about the addition of Candice Wiggins to the Sparks,” said Toler. “An explosive player at both ends of the court, she will be able to spread the defense as well as defend the best guards on opposing teams. She is a fierce competitor with championship experience and we look forward to having her in Los Angeles.”

The 5-11 guard has averaged double-figures in scoring in four of her six WNBA seasons, including a career-high 15.7 points per game (30 games) during her rookie season in Minnesota (2008). The following season, she played and started all 34 games to average a 13.1 points, 2.6 assists and a career-high 2.9 minutes per game.

Drafted in 2008 as the third overall pick by the Lynx, her impressive scoring (15.7 ppg) for a non-starter was the league’s highest, earning her the WNBA’s 2008 Sixth Woman of the Year Award and a berth on the All-Rookie Team.

During Minnesota’s 2011 Championship run, Wiggins helped spark the offense off the bench in all eight playoff games, including a 10-point performance in the deciding game three of the WNBA Finals.

“I am very anxious to play with Candice,” said Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike. “I feel, out of all my fellow Stanford women's basketball alumni, I am the only one who hasn't played with her. Now that she’s coming to Los Angeles, I have a wonderful opportunity to play with my fellow ‘Nerdie’. Candice is a spectacular player and will contribute vastly to the Sparks.”

Wiggins is the second Stanford alum on the Sparks roster, joining fellow Cardinal Nneka Ogwumike in Los Angeles. Stanford’s all-time leader in points per game (19.2 points), total points (2,629), career three-pointers made (295), career free throws made (556) and career steals (281), she is a four-time Kodak/WBCA All-American (2005-2008) and 2008 National Player of the Year. In 2008, she passed Sparks legend Lisa Leslie (2,414, USC) as the Pac-10’s all-time leading scorer.


Thursday, April 3
SPARKS SIGN FREE AGENT GUARD ARMINTIE HERRINGTON
LOS ANGELES –Los Angeles Sparks Executive Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler today announced the team has signed free agent guard Armintie Herrington. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Armintie is a veteran guard with a winning mentality,” said Toler. “She will be a solid addition who will strengthen our defensive presence in the backcourt and enhance our transition game. She is one of the top defenders in the league and will make an immediate impact on our drive to the WNBA Championship.”

A seven-year veteran, Herrington has played with the Atlanta Dream (2009-2013) and Chicago Sky (2007-2009) since being drafted third overall in the 2007 WNBA Draft by the Sky. The 2007 WNBA Rookie of the Year, she was traded to Atlanta from Chicago near the end of the 2009 season. Upon joining Atlanta with 11 games remaining in the 2009 regular season, she helped guide the team to playoff appearances in each of her five seasons with the team, including three Eastern Conference Championships (2010, 2011, 2013).

“I am really excited to have the opportunity to play for the Los Angeles Sparks and my college coach (Carol Ross),” said Herrington. “While I am very grateful for my time in Atlanta, I hope to bring that extra ‘spark’ to Los Angeles and help take the Sparks to the WNBA Finals and win the WNBA Championship. I am looking forward to the Magic era and am ready to get to work.”

The 5-9 guard has played in all 34 regular season games in five of her seven WNBA seasons, including 34 starts as a rookie (Chicago). Last season, she was named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team and is a two-time WNBA All-Defensive Second Team (2011, 2012).

“I am so excited to get the opportunity to play with Armintie again,” said Sparks guard Lindsey Harding. “She will bring additional athleticism and defense to our team and we are lucky to have her in Los Angeles.”

Last season, she had a career-best 65 steals to rank fourth among league leaders in steals per game (2.3). Leading the Dream to the 2013 WNBA Finals, Herrington played in all eight playoff games and averaged 7.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.9 steals before falling to the eventual WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx.

Herrington played collegiate ball at Mississippi under current Sparks head coach Carol Ross. As a senior, she led the NCAA and SEC in steals (3.7 spg) and was the second leading scorer in the conference, averaging a team-high 19.1 points per game. She earned the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award in 2005 and 2007, becoming the first player in conference history to win the award twice.



Thursday, April 3
SPARKS TRADE GUARD JENNA O'HEA TO SEATTLE STORM IN EXCHANGE FOR 2015 SECOND ROUND WNBA DRAFT PICK
LOS ANGELES –Los Angeles Sparks Executive Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler announced today the team has traded guard Jenna O’Hea to Seattle in exchange for the Storm’s 2015 second round draft pick.

Signed by the Sparks as a free agent on March 31, 2011, the 6-1 guard played in 29 games last season averaging 3.0 points, 1.1 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game. In three seasons with the Sparks, O’Hea averaged 4.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 68 games.

“We want to thank Jenna for her contributions, both on the court and in the community, during her three seasons in Los Angeles and wish her the best,” said Toler.

A member of the Australian National Team, she made her debut with the Senior National Team in 2009 and in 2010 was named to the Opals’ 2010 FIBA World Championship squad.


Wednesday, October 16
Parker Named Sportswoman of the Year

Candace Parker was named Team Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation at the 34th Annual Salute to Women in Sports Gala on Wednesday, October 16, in New York City.

Parker’s award was based on her basketball achievements between August 13, 2012 and July 31, 2013, including being a member of the Olympic gold medal winning U.S. Women’s National Basketball Team and earning All-WNBA First Team recognition. Additionally, she was named MVP of the 2013 WNBA All-Star, set a new WNBA All-Star game points record, received the ESPY for Best WNBA Player and was voted MVP of the Euroleague Women’s Final Eight.

Unable to attend, Parker expressed her appreciation for the award in a tweet, saying “Thank you @WomensSportsFdn for this huge honor. I truly respect all that your org. does to inspire girls and am truly humbled by this award!”

Parker, also the 2013 WNBA MVP, was selected by the Women’s Sports Foundation and a public voting process among a group of finalists that included: Katie Holloway, a member of the U.S. Women’s Paralympic Sitting Volleyball Team, University of Minnesota and U.S. Women’s National team hockey player Amanda Kessel and Stanford water polo player Melissa Seidman. Beach volleyball players Talita Da Rocha Antunes and Taiana Lima of Brazil and Canadian bobsledders Kaillie Humphries and Chelsea Valois were also nominated.

Olympic champion swimmer Missy Franklin was named Individual Sportswoman of the Year. The WNBA also received the Billie Jean King Contribution Award for the league’s tireless work to elevate the image of women in sports.

The Women’s Sports Foundation was founded by tennis legend Billie Jean King in 1974 and is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity.



Thursday, September 19
Join Us in Congratulating our Very Own Candace Parker. 2013 WNBA MVP!


Candice Wiggins of the Los Angeles Sparks named 2013 WNBA Most Valuable Player! http://ow.ly/p2tpt
Candace's Top 10 Plays: http://youtu.be/yQXPTUmZwEA

Monday, August 19
Western Conference Player of the Week
Congratulations to Kristi Toliver on earning Western Conference Player of the Week. In two Sparks wins, Toliver avearaged 21.5 points to rank second in the West and third in the league in scoring. Way to go Kristi


Thursday, August 1
Parker Named WNBA Player of the Month for the West
Chicago's Fowles and L.A.'s Parker Named WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month
 
Fowles averaged 17.2 points and 10.8 rebounds, while her .660 field goal percentage and 2.2 bpg led the WNBA.

Parker’s 19.8 ppg and 9.0 rpg in July led Los Angeles (12-6) to a 7-2 record for the month after a 5-4 start to the season.


Thursday, August 1
Parker Scores Record 23 to Lead West Over East

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Candace Parker put on a show in her All-Star debut.

Parker scored a record 23 points to lead the West to a 102-98 victory over the East on Saturday.

'I didn't know what to expect,' Parker said. 'I hadn't been to one, and this was really special. Being with all these great players and share stories, that's why I'll remember from this All-Star game more than what happened on the court.'

The Los Angeles Sparks star was voted a starter for the 2011 game, but couldn't play because of a knee injury. She also missed the 2009 game because she was still recovering from the birth of her daughter.

'Things happen,' Parker said. 'I learned not to question them and go on my path and take whatever comes. It happened to work out this way.'

The wait was worth it as Parker, who earned the game's MVP honors.

While the award was special, Parker and her West teammates were more excited that got the victory for retiring star Tina Thompson.

'We didn't want her to go out with a loss,' said Parker, who was quickly heading back to Los Angeles after the game to get to a family reunion that she was hosting.

Thompson, who made her record ninth All-Star appearance, announced her retirement at the end of the season. She had a rough game missing all five of her attempts from the field, but still enjoyed the moment.

West coach Cheryl Reeve put her back in the lineup with a few seconds left to get one final ovation from the fans.

Parker's stellar game helped the league overcome the loss of Brittney Griner and top vote-getter Elena Delle Donne, who sat out because of injuries. The pair have been an attendance and ratings boon for the league.

Griner has missed Phoenix's last five games with a sprained left knee and Delle Donne suffered a concussion in Chicago's game Wednesday. They were poised to make history as the first pair of rookies from the same class to start the WNBA All-Star game.

But Griner sat on the bench, while Delle Donne recovered at home in Delaware.

'It hurts not being able to play, but I'm having a lot of fun just cheering,' Griner said.

Even though the rookies couldn't play, the WNBA had seven other first-time All-Stars in the game. That didn't even include Parker.

Despite joking before the game that she was 'too old' to dunk, Parker threw down a few in warmups.

After a quiet first half, she helped rally the West after the break. With her team trailing by 11 early in the third quarter, Parker scored seven straight points. After the foul by Tamika Catchings, Parker flexed her muscles and used a nifty stutter-step from the wing for an easy layup. Parker finished off her run with another lay-in.

After Sparks teammate Kristi Toliver hit back-to-back 3-pointers to the tie game, Ivory Latta hit her own 3-pointers to give the East an 81-74 advantage heading into the final period.

Parker, who finished with 11 rebounds, and Toliver wouldn't let the West lose for the fourth time in the past five All-Star games. Parker broke Swin Cash's All-Star game record of 22 points with a layup midway through the fourth quarter.

East coach Lin Dunn, who it was announced will be inducted into the women's basketball Hall of Fame next year, joked that there was a simple reason her team came up short.

'They had Candace and we didn't,' she said laughing.

Trailing 100-98 with 30 seconds left, the East had a chance to take the lead, but Cappie Pondexter missed a 3-pointer. Parker got the rebound and Toliver sealed the win by hitting two free throws.

'I see it every day,' Parker said of her Sparks teammate. 'She's one of the best shooters ever. I was proud of the way she came out and played within herself.'

Toliver, who was playing in her first All-Star game, scored 19 of her 21 points in the second half to help the West rally.

'Being here this weekend was a lot of joy,' she said. It was humbling to be here but I feel like I belong.'

The game also featured the return of referee cam, with Lamont Simpson wearing a device that looks like a pair of glasses. The veteran official caught a pre-game dance off between the East and West. Maya Moore floored the sell-out crowd by breaking out the old-school dance move the worm. She repeated the move when she was introduced as a starter.

Simpson admitted that after he first wore the ref cam in June, he received a lot of emails and texts from friends.

In the fourth quarter, Simpson approached Latta on the court and joked that 'there's never been a technical foul in the history of the All-Star game.'

In another first, the game was coached by two women for the only time in its 11-year history. Lin Dunn of Indiana coached the East and Reeve of Minnesota was in charge of the West.

Reeve had four Minnesota Lynx players on her West squad. Moore and Seimone Augustus were voted as starters. Reeve chose Lynx center Rebekkah Brunson to replace Griner in the starting lineup.

Minnesota point guard Lindsay Whalen was the first sub in for the West, replacing Taurasi. That produced four Lynx players, who also were on the 2011 All-Star team, on the court at the same time.

The four Lynx stars combined for 24 of the West's 29 points in the first quarter.



Tuesday, July 23
All-Star Reserves Named
Hey fans, help us congratulate Kristi Toliver and Nneka Ogwumike for being chosen as Western Conference reserves for the 2013 WNBA All Star Game. Toliver and Ogwumike will join Candace Parker, who was selected by the fans as a starter last week, in representing the Sparks on July 27. The 2013 WNBA All Star Game presented by Boost Mobile will air on ABC at 12:30 p.m. PT.
Hey fans, help us congratulate Kristi Toliver and Nneka Ogwumike for being chosen as Western Conference reserves for the 2013 WNBA All Star Game. Toliver and Ogwumike will join Candace Parker, who was selected by the fans as a starter last week, in representing the Sparks on July 27. The 2013 WNBA All Star Game presented by Boost Mobile will air on ABC at 12:30 p.m. PT. Click to read more: http://www.wnba.com/sparks/kristi_toliver__nneka_ogwum_2013_07_23.html


Friday, July 19
CANDACE PARKER SELECTED AS A 2013 WNBA ALL-STAR

Parker vs. Taurasi!
Both titans went toe-to-toe this week in back-to-back explosive match-ups. Where do they rank in this week's WNBA.com Race to the MVP?
Find out: http://ow.ly/n9y64


                         Candace Parker
Los Angeles – Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker topped the Western Conference and ranked second overall with 33,810 votes to be selected as a Western Conference starter for the 2013 Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game.

Parker will represent Los Angeles and the Western Conference in her first All-Star Game since being drafted as the 2008 No. 1 overall draft pick. The second selection of her career, she was voted in as a starter in 2011, but was unable to play due to injury.

The Connecticut Sun will host the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday, July 27. ABC will broadcast the game live at 3:30 p.m. ET from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Joining Parker in the West frontcourt will be Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury) and Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx). The starting guards for the West will be six-time All-Star Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) and four-time All-Star Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx).

In the East, Chicago Sky guard/forward Elena Delle Donne led all players with 35,646 votes to become the first rookie ever to earn the top spot. Joining Delle Donne in the Eastern Conference starting lineup are five-time All-Star Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), two-time All-Star Epiphanny Prince (Chicago Sky), eight-time All-Star Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) and Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream).

Following are the starting lineups for the 2013 Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game:

Eastern Conference Starters: Western Conference Starters:

Cappie Pondexter, Guard (New York Liberty) Diana Taurasi, Guard (Phoenix Mercury)

Epiphanny Prince, Guard (Chicago Sky) Seimone Augustus, Guard (Minnesota Lynx)

Elena Delle Donne, Frontcourt (Chicago Sky) Candace Parker, Frontcourt (Los Angeles Sparks)

Tamika Catchings, Frontcourt (Indiana Fever) Maya Moore, Frontcourt (Minnesota Lynx)

Angel McCoughtry, Frontcourt (Atlanta Dream) Brittney Griner, Frontcourt (Phoenix Mercury)

The 12 WNBA head coaches will select the reserves by voting for six players within their own conference, including two guards and four frontcourt players. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The league will announce the reserves during a nationally televised game between the Liberty and the Fever on ESPN2, Tuesday, July 23 at 7 p.m. ET.

Replacement players, who will take the roster spot of players who cannot play due to injury, will be named by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. Any changes to the starting lineup necessitated by injury will be made by the head coach of the respective All-Star team.

By virtue of winning their respective conference titles last season, Indiana head coach Lin Dunn will coach the Eastern Conference, and the Western Conference will be led by Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve.



Thursday, July 18
Candace Parker Wins Fourth ESPY

Candace Parker is a two-time ESPY honoree for Best WNBA Player and four-time trophy winner overall.

Candace Parker
LOS ANGELES -- Candace Parker was busy Wednesday night at the Staples Center, helping her Los Angeles Sparks beat the Atlanta Dream, 77-74, and improve to 11-4 on the season. Meanwhile, across the street at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, she was among those named as winners of awards at the star-studded ESPYs.

Hosted by actor Jon Hamm, the 2013 ESPYs were televised live on ESPN/ESPNHD, and Parker was chosen Best WNBA Player in a category that included former Lady Vol Tamika Catchings (Indiana), Tina Charles (Connecticut), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota).

It marked Parker's second ESPY for Best WNBA Player (she also won in 2009) and her fourth overall. She was named Best Female Athlete and Best Female College Athlete in 2008 following her final season at Tennessee.

Current Tennessee freshman Mercedes Russell got to soak in her first time at the ESPYs. As winner of the Gatorade National Female High School Basketball Player of the Year award, she was a finalist for the national female athlete of year award that was announced on Tuesday night. Soccer player Morgan Andrews of Milford, N.H., was named the female recipient of national honors, but all female and male finalists attended the ESPYs and walked the red carpet.

A 6-foot-5 post player from Springfield, Ore., Russell was named the Gatorade Female Basketball Player of the Year for the state of Oregon and the Gatorade National Female Basketball Player of the Year earlier this season. She was the sixth Lady Vol to garner national player of the year accolades, joining Kris Durham (1986-87), Lisa Harrison (1988-89), Michelle Marciniak (1990-91), Shyra Ely (2000-01) and Candace Parker (2002-03, 2003-04).

 



Monday, July 15
Parker Repeats as Player of the Week

Los Angeles – Sparks forward/center Candace Parker was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played July 8 through July 14, 2013.

Parker earned her second consecutive Player of the Week honor, and third of the season, after leading Los Angeles to its first two road wins this season. Averaging a league-best 25.5 points per game last week, Parker’s performances at Tulsa and Phoenix helped continue the Sparks win streak to a season-best 5-0, the second longest streak in the WNBA this season. She also led the West in field goal percentage (62 percent) and ranked third in the conference in rebounds per game (8.0) for the week.

Los Angeles captured its first road win of the season with a 94-78 victory in Tulsa (7/11), spearheaded behind Parker’s season-high 30 point, 8 rebound performance. In the win, she went an impressive 14-for-20 from the field, including a perfect 2-for-2 from three point range, to match the WNBA season-high for field goals made with 14. On July 14, Parker did it again with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists to lead Los Angeles to its second consecutive road win with an 88-76 victory in Phoenix. Her 21 points in the win earned Parker her seventh 20+ point game this season.

Parker leads the Sparks in points (18.8 ppg), rebounds (8.9 rpg) and blocks (2.36 bpg) and is tied for second in assists (3.7 apg) through 14 games played, all starts.

Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

The Sparks host the Atlanta Dream and Phoenix Mercury for back-to-back home games at STAPLES Center on Wednesday, July 17 and Thursday July 18. Thursday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m.



Monday, July 8
Candace Parker Named Western Conference Player of the Week

Los Angeles -- Sparks forward Candace Parker was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played July 1 through July 7, 2013.

The Player of the Week award is Parker's second of the season, and twelfth of her career. Averaging 21.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists, she led the Sparks to a 3-0 week in which Los Angeles outscored its opposition by an average of 21.6 points. The 3-0 marked helped the Sparks improve its undefeated record at STAPLES Center to 8-0.

In the Sparks 96-66 win over Minnesota on July 2, Parker matched her season-high in points with 27, adding eight rebounds. She did it again on July 4, grabbing eight rebounds in addition to 20 points, five assists and three blocks in the 97-89 home victory over the New York Liberty. Parker's 20 points vs. New York achieved her third consecutive game scoring 20 or more points. She wrapped up the Sparks three-game home stand with 18 points --14 in the third quarter-- and nine rebounds in the 93-66 win over San Antonio on July 6.

Parker leads the Sparks in points (17.7 ppg), rebounds (9.1 rpg) and blocks (2.67 bpg) and is second in assists (3.7 apg) through 12 games played, all starts. Currently she ranks in the top ten among league leaders in blocks (second), rebounds (fourth), and points (eighth).

Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

The Sparks will head out on a two-game road trip to face the Tulsa Shock on July 11 on ESPN2 and the Phoenix Mercury on July 14 on TWC SportsNet.



Monday, June 3
Western Conference Player of the Week

Los Angeles – Sparks forward Candace Parker was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played May 24 through June 2.

Parker’s Player of the Week award is the eleventh of her career. She earned the honors after a 1-1 start to the season that included a double-double in the Sparks 83-78 loss to San Antonio on Saturday, where she scored 27 points and added a career-high 20 rebounds. Her 20 rebounds were the second-most in Sparks history, behind Lisa Leslie’s 21 atop the franchise record books (June 19, 1998). This also marked her 41st game earning 20 or more points.

In the Sparks home opener, a 102-69 win over Seattle, she led the team to its largest win margin in history with a 10-point, five-rebound performance. After two games, she ranks first in the Western Conference (third overall in the league) in rebounding with 12.5 per game and fourth in the West in points with 18.5 per game.

Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.



Tuesday, May 28
Sparks Hire Assistant Bridget Pettis

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Sparks have hired Bridget Pettis as an assistant, replacing Jim Lewis, who left the team for family reasons.

The team announced Tuesday that Olaf Lange and Gail Goestenkors are joining as consultants.

Pettis spent 12 years in the league as a player, an assistant coach and director of basketball operations for the Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever. She retired from her front-office job with the Mercury in 2011.

Lange has 18 years of coaching experience, including stints with the San Antonio Silver Stars. Most recently, he was head coach of UMMC Ekaterinburg, this year's EuroLeague champion that included Sparks star Candace Parker. Lange is married to Sparks assistant Sandy Brondello.

Goestenkors' college coaching stints include Duke and Texas. She was an assistant on the U.S. national teams at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

The Sparks open the season at home against Seattle on Sunday.



Saturday, May 18
2013 Preview

In perhaps one of the most emotional moments in the WNBA last season, Candace Parker walked off the court during the Playoffs in tears last October, seeking comfort on the shoulder of her mother.

The Los Angeles Sparks had held a 10-point fourth-quarter lead over the defending champion Minnesota Lynx in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, looking just minutes away from forcing a Game 3. The Lynx closed the gap, but a Parker 3-pointer with 1:31 left put the Sparks up two. They wouldn't score again, however, and Minnesota edged L.A. with an 80-79 win, thus keeping Parker from her first trip to the WNBA Finals -- a gut-wrenching blow for a team that could have conceivably won a WNBA title.

"We're going to take that and let that be a motivational factor as we move into this season," Los Angeles coach Carol Ross said. "Clearly we will use all of our experiences, both good and bad, and try to be a better team moving forward. Those moments break your heart, but you love coaching players that take winning and losing so much to heart."

The Sparks had one of the toughest cores in the league last year with Parker and 2012 Rookie of the Year Nneka Ogwumike dominating inside and with clutch shooter Kristi Toliver burning the nets from the wing. This season, that core is about to get even stronger after the team signed guard Lindsey Harding from the Atlanta Dream. Ross, last year's WNBA Coach of the Year, is no stranger to Harding, having coached her during her time with the Dream before she came to Los Angeles.

"She's going to bring some speed to the floor on both ends," Ross said. "She's going to open up shots and make them easier for all of her teammates. She's extroverted - an energy type player - and typically teammates love playing with those kinds of players."

Ross said adding Harding will give the team some much-needed depth in their backcourt. Harding's speed complements the team's centerpiece offensive strategy of scoring baskets on transition, she said.

"When we're in transition, it's going to be just 'whoever gets the ball, lets go,'" Ross said. "That way we can move faster and have multiple options to kick the play into overdrive."

Expectations are always high in Los Angeles, and the team expects to make a legitimate run for the title once again this season. But the way the landscape will change this season as a result of the influx of megastar draft picks, injuries to key players, and game-changing roster moves makes this season a difficult one to predict, Ross said.

"We've got our fair share of talent, a lot of other teams are excited about their teams as well," Ross said. "It's going to be hard to predict. You couldn't predict last year that Indiana was going to win it but they put a run together at the right time. Every team has talent and it's going to be fun to watch it all play out."



Friday, March 1
Sparks Sign Guard Lindsey Harding

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Sparks have signed free agent guard Lindsey Harding to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“I am really excited about Lindsey joining the Sparks family,” said Toler. “She is a dynamic player who will add to our already explosive backcourt. Lindsey will be our starting point guard who will lead us to our next WNBA Championship.”

A 5-8 guard, Harding is a six-year WNBA veteran who owns career averages of 11.2 points, 4.2 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 180 games (163 starts) played, most recently with the Atlanta Dream (2011,2012). She reunites with former Duke and Mystics teammate, guard/forward Alana Beard, as the second Blue Devil alum on the Sparks roster.

"I want to thank the owners, coaches, players, and most of all the wonderful Atlanta Dream fans for all of their support while making my time in Atlanta memorable,” said Harding. “Now I'm looking forward to playing for the Los Angeles Sparks and their enthusiastic fans, another organization dedicated to excellence and winning. I'm also thrilled to once-again be coached by Coach Ross while playing alongside an ensemble of talented players, including my college and former Mystics teammate Alana Beard."

Harding played in all 68 games, including 65 starts, during her two seasons in Atlanta. Last season she averaged 12.3 points, a team-high 4.5 assists and lead the Dream in free-throw percentage at a career-best 81.8 percent (90-of-110). During her first season in Atlanta, Harding set career-highs in assists (4.8 apg) and field goal percentage (.455), while leading the team in minutes (30.5 mpg). Prior to Atlanta, she spent two seasons with the Washington Mystics where she started all 68 games. In 2010, she earned her first WNBA All-Star selection en route to leading Washington to the Eastern Conference regular season title. During her first season with the Mystics (2009), she averaged a career-high 12.8 points and team-high 4.5 assists while leading the league in total minutes played (1194) and minutes per game (35.1).

Originally selected as No. 1 overall pick by Phoenix in the 2007 WNBA Draft, she was traded to Minnesota where she played two seasons (2007, 2008) and was a member of the 2007 WNBA All-Rookie Team.

"We're thrilled about the addition of Lindsey Harding, it's another bold and positive step for the Sparks,” said head coach Carol Ross. “Lindsey is a talented, dynamic point guard built for speed and aggression. She will add to an already exciting guard tandem of Kristi Toliver and Alana Beard."

During her collegiate career at Duke, Harding aided the Blue Devils to a 128-12 (.914) record and four NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2007, she was named the Naismith National Player of the Year, the inaugural WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year and on Jan. 20 became Duke’s second women’s basketball player to have her number (10) retired. The two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Harding is only the second women’s basketball player in school history to register over 1,000 points, 500 assists and rebounds and 250 steals.



Friday, March 1
Sparks Sign Kristi Toliver To Multi-Year Contract

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Sparks have signed guard Kristi Toliver to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by Sparks Executive Vice President and general manager Penny Toler. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased with Kristi’s continued growth over the past few seasons in Los Angeles,” said Toler. “She is committed and dedicated to improving both herself and the team. Kristi is a core piece of the puzzle that we need to lead us to our next WNBA Championship.”

In three seasons with Los Angeles, Toliver has appeared in 100 games (54 starts) and registered averages of 12.4 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game. She earned the 2012 WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year award after pacing the Sparks with team and career-highs in points (17.5 ppg), assists (4.9 apg), rebounds (3.2 rpg), and minutes (31.5 mpg) in 34 games (33 starts) last season.

"I couldn't be more fired up and humbled to remain with the Sparks for seasons to come,” said Toliver. “Los Angeles is about winning championships and I am determined to help bring another one back to this city. There is an expectation that lives here, and I’m honored to be part of that commitment.”

Toliver also marked career-highs in steals per game (1.3 spg) and field goal percentage (.491) and finished the season ranked sixth in the league in scoring, fourth in assists and second in free-throw percentage (.901). In addition to being named Most Improved Player of the Year, Toliver was named to the 2012 All-WNBA Second Team.

Originally selected by the Chicago Sky in the 2009 WNBA Draft, she has improved in total points and steals every year since being in the league. Last season, she helped the Sparks to a 24 -10 record and a return to the WNBA Playoffs after missing the 2011 postseason. In six postseason contests with the Sparks, she has recorded averages of 16.0 points, 2.5 assists and 30.3 minutes per game.

 



Friday, March 1
WNBA ANNOUNCES RULES CHANGES FOR 2013 SEASON

Anti-Flopping Rule and Defensive Three-Seconds Instituted; Three-Point Line Extended

The WNBA will implement new rules regarding flopping and defensive three-seconds, while also extending the three-point line, Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Renee Brown announced today following the league’s Board of Governor’s Meeting. The rules will go into effect beginning with the 2013 season.

“Flops that are intended to mislead referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into believing a foul call was missed are a detriment to the game," Brown said. "With that, both the Board of Governors and the Competition Committee felt strongly that a player who, upon video review by the league, is believed to have committed a flop will, after an initial warning, be given an automatic penalty.”

“Flopping” will be defined as any physical act that, upon review, reasonably appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.

The primary factor in determining if a player committed a flop is whether her physical reaction to an action by another player (whether or not that action resulted in contact) is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force, direction, or nature of the action of the other player. An example would be a player who lunges, flails, or falls following minimal or non-existent contact with an opponent.

Physical acts that constitute legitimate basketball plays (such as moving to a spot in order to draw an offensive foul) and minor physical reactions to contact will not be treated as flops.

During preseason games, warning will be given for acts judged to be flops. Any player who is determined to have committed a flop during the regular season will, upon the first offense, receive a warning. Subsequent violations will result in fines of increasing amounts. Beginning with a sixth violation, a player will be subject to a further increased fine and/or suspension.

The league will announce at a later date a separate set of penalties for flopping that will apply during the playoffs.

The three-point line will be extended from 20 feet, 6 1/4 inches to 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches, consistent with the distance inherent in all FIBA competitions.

“We extended the line to its current distance of 20 feet, 6 1/4 inches in 2004 and our three-point shooting percentage increased,” said Brown. “Since then the talent level and the athleticism of our players has only continued to increase; and with a significant percentage of our players also playing – and excelling – internationally, this brings us into line with the international game. The extended three-point line and defensive three-second rule will create spacing and open up the lane. The improved spacing will create increased opportunities for athletic players to drive to the basket and either shoot or pass the ball back out to open players on the perimeter.”

Under the new defensive three-second rule, a violation will result in a technical foul being assessed if a defensive player violates the “actively guarding” guidelines. Following the free throw for the technical foul, the offense will maintain possession of the ball at the free throw line extended.

Slight changes also have been made with regard to the use of instant replay as it pertains to flagrant fouls and the restricted area.

Whereas previous rules allowed for replay review of Flagrant Foul 2’s but not Flagrant Foul 1’s, the level of the foul will now be assigned only after the play has been reviewed. Replay procedures are also being instituted during the final minute of regulation and overtime if officials determine the offensive player committed the illegal contact but are uncertain as to whether the defender was inside or outside the restricted area.



Wednesday, October 3

Candace Named Player of the Month, Nneka Named Rookie of the Month

Parker and Ogwumike Both Win Fourth Respective Monthly Awards

Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker was named the Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Boost Mobile, and forward Nneka Ogwumike was named the for games played in the month of September.

Parker is being honored with the Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Boost Mobile distinction for the fourth time this season (May, June, July and September). Led by Parker, the Los Angeles Sparks have swept this honor for the 2012 season, with Kristi Toliver receiving the honor in August.

The five-year veteran from the University of Tennessee led the Sparks (24-10) to a 5-3 record in the final weeks of the regular season, seeding them second in the West going into the postseason. For the month, Parker ranked second in the league in rebounds per game (9.5), fourth in the West in shooting percentage (.523) and third in the West in scoring (16.9 ppg).

Parker was the first player in league history to receive both the WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same year (2008). A standout in the 2012 Olympics where she helped the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team win her second and the team’s fifth-straight gold medal, an Olympic record for traditional women’s team sports.

Highlights of Parker’s month included:
- Sept. 7 at Washington: Recorded a season-high eight assists
- Sept. 9 at New York: Double-double with 15 rebounds and 14 points
- Sept. 14 vs. Connecticut: Double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds
- Sept. 18 vs. Phoenix: Double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds
- Sept. 20 vs. Minnesota: Double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds

Ogwumike paced all rookies in points (15.1 ppg), rebounds (7.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (.598). Overall, Ogwumike ranked 10th in rebounds and 14th in points. Ogwumike scored a career-high 30 points and added 11 rebounds in an 86-77 win over the Chicago Sky on Sept. 13. She finished out the regular season with a double-double (22 points and 11 rebounds) in a 92-76 win over the 2011 defending champion Minnesota Lynx on Sept. 20.

The first overall pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile, Ogwumike averaged 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Sparks. She also earned Rookie of the Month honors in May, July and August.

Highlights of Ogwumike’s month included: - Sept. 13 vs. Chicago: Double-double with 30 points (career high) and 11 rebounds
- Sept. 14 vs. Connecticut: 17 points, eight rebounds in 34 minutes
- Sept. 20 vs. Minnesota: Double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds

 



Thursday, July 18
@ Atlanta Dream
Atlanta Dream (2008 - Pres)

   
LOS ANGELES SPARKS
LOS ANGELES SPARKS
View Our Guestbook | Sign Our Guestbook
14 visitors have signed our guestbook.

 
 
 
  Web Sites Instruction Community
  Local Sites
Spotlight Sites
Build a Web Site
Tips and Drills
Sport Tip Email
Customer Support
News & Updates
Bulletin Boards
Camps & Clinics
Tournaments
Coaches' Corner


   
"There is one thing stronger than all the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo
   
Copyright © 2014, eteamz.com, Inc
User Agreement