LOS ANGELES (May 18, 2023) – The Los Angeles Sparks, led by Head Coach Curt Miller, tip off the 2023 season tomorrow, Friday May 19th, at Crypto.com Arena against the Phoenix Mercury at 8 p.m. PT on ESPN.
The Sparks 12-woman final roster returns five players from the 2022 Sparks, led by former MVP and WNBA champion Nneka Ogwumike. Also returning is two-time WNBA All-Star Chiney Ogwumike, WNBA Champions Lexie Brown and Jordin Canada, and Southern California native Katie Lou Samuelson, who will miss the 2023 season (pregnancy).
The newest additions feature WNBA Champion Azura Stevens, two-time All-Star, Sixth Woman of the Year and 2022 WNBA Champion Dearica Hamby, and three-time WNBA All-Defensive First Team selection and 2017 All-Star Jasmine Thomas. The Sparks also signed former WNBL MVP Steph Talbot this offseason, who will miss the 2023 season with a torn ACL suffered this offseason.
Rookie and No. 10 pick Zia Cooke (South Carolina) will make her regular season debut for Los Angeles, while the No. 14 pick Shaneice Swain (Australia) will not come over to the WNBA in 2023.
The Sparks rounded out the 2023 roster with WNBA All-Star Layshia Clarendon and forward Joyner Holmes. In addition, the Sparks today claimed second-year combo guard Nia Clouden off waivers. Clouden was drafted No. 12 overall by the Connecticut Sun in the 2022 WNBA Draft. The Michigan State standout scored 50 points in a collegiate game against Florida Gulf Coast, setting a program record.
The Sparks lead the WNBA with 20 franchise postseason appearances and are the only franchise to reach 500 regular season wins.
|1||Zia Cooke||G||R||9-Jan-01||South Carolina/USA|
|5||Dearica Hamby||F||9||6-Nov-93||Wake Forest/USA|
|33||*Katie Lou Samuelson||F||4||13-Jun-97||Connecticut/USA|
|2||Nia Clouden||G||1||17-May-00||Michigan/ USA|
*Katie Lou Samuelson will miss the 2023 season (pregnancy)
*Steph Talbot will miss the 2023 season (ACL)
Basketball Operations & Coaching Staff
Chief Administrative Officer and General Manager – Karen Bryant
Assistant General Manager – Eli Horowitz
Vice President, Operations & Player Relations- Ilene Hauser
Head Coach- Curt Miller
Assistant Coach- Chris Koclanes
Assistant Coach- Steve Smith
Assistant Coach – Danielle Viglione
Player Development Coach- Nola Henry
Video & Analytics Coordinator- Addison Lee
Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer- Dr. Courtney Watson
Assistant Athletic Trainer- Charvette Johnson
Strength and Performance Coach –Emily Blurton
Equipment & Facilities Manager – Thomas Archie
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES SPARKS
Founded in 1996, the Los Angeles Sparks are one of three original franchises in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Sparks have won three WNBA Championships (2001, 2002, 2016), have qualified for the playoffs in 20 of their 26 seasons and remain the only active team in the league to win back-to-back titles. The Los Angeles Sparks are dedicated to ensuring each home game at Crypto.com Arena has a championship level entertainment experience while showcasing the best female athletes from around the world on the court. LA Sparks 2023 tickets are available here for purchase.