And on Sunday, June 6th, you can join the Los Angeles Sparks players and coaches and help clean up Santa Monica Beach. Meet 9:00 am at 1600 Ocean Front Walk (North side of Pier, Tower 1550).
For more info on both events, go to LASparks.com
You throw, girl.
Over the weekend, golfer Michelle Wie threw out the first pitch at the Dodgers Game.
Not sure how we missed the fact that last Wednesday, Los Angeles Sparks forwards and 2008 Olympians Tina Thompson and Delisha Milton Jones were similarly honored. The pair were featured during the Dodger’s Olympic celebration.
As part of the night’s festivities, Tina and Delisha also got a chance to throw the first pitch of the game.
Earlier in the season, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Sports Illustrated’s Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century and winner of three gold, a silver and two bronze Olympic medals and Cammi Granato, who captained the U.S. Women’s Hockey team to the gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games threw out ceremonial first pitches at games in Chicago.
Nice to see these female athletes getting some attention.
A natural athlete, basketball player Candace Parker has been dribbling a ball since the age of six. She attributes her success to making hard work her passion. The Los Angeles Sparks forward may be tough as nails on the court, but when the game is over, Parker can be found relaxing in Rock and Republic jeans with her family and beloved dogs Neno, Fendi, and Prada.
Fave City: Chicago
Fave Food: Mom’s Lasagna
Fave Musical Artist: Jay-Z
Fave Celebrity Look: Rihanna
Check out what Parker has to say about beauty, basketball, and making it to the top of her game.
Three-time WNBA MVP and four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie says she will retire after her 12th season with the Los Angeles Sparks.The 36-year-old center announced her decision Wednesday in El Segundo, Calif., accompanied by her 19-month-old daughter and husband.
The 6-foot-5 Southern California native first grabbed headlines when she scored 101 points for her Inglewood Morningside team in 1990. Leslie stayed closed to home for college, helping USC reach the final eight of the NCAA tournament twice, in 1992 and 1994.
Leslie, who has been a cornerstone of the league since its start, guided the Sparks to the WNBA championship in 2001 and 2002 and became the first woman to dunk in a WNBA game.
Leslie says she decided to retire as it became more difficult to balance her family life and her basketball career. She took the 2007 season off to give birth, then returned last season.
In other WNBA news, the Seattle Storm released three-time WNBA MVP and three-time Olympic gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes a day before her 2009 contract would have become guaranteed.
Coach Brian Agler says the move was made to clear space under the $803,000 salary cap.
Swoopes is 37 and might now pursue something she’s talked about since September — coaching and being a full-time mother.
With these announcements, an era in women’s basketball comes to an end.
Last year was a year of firsts for Candace Parker.
In 2008 Parker was selected the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, she was the first woman in the WNBA to win both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, she captured her first Olympic Gold Medal at the Summer Games in Beijing and last November she eloped.
Entering a new year, Parker confirmed she has a special first to look forward to. This spring, she and husband Shelden Williams of the Sacramento Kings are expecting their first child.
And the timing works out perfectly. Parker says she will continue to work out in preparation to participate in the 2009 WNBA season which kicks off for the Sparks on June 6th. Guess she won’t be playing in Russia as expected but she’s young and assuming there are no complications there’s no reason she can’t return to play quickly.
In a letter to fans, Sparks owners Carla Christofferson and Kathy Goodman write they “are delighted to be adding a new Sparks fan.” Boy or girl, this kid should be dunking in no time (as well as perusing sponsorship offers).
The former face of the Sparks, Lisa Leslie, announced on the same day that Goodman and her Christofferson bought the team that she would miss the entire 2007 season due to pregnancy so we’re guessing the news wasn’t a total shock to the owners.
Still, the health of the Sparks and the WNBA rests somewhat precariously on Parker’s shoulders so there must be added pressure. No male athlete has to account to the league or fans regarding child birth decisions – it’s unfortunate the same can’t be said about female athletes.
Congrats CP – Enjoy the moment!
December 17, 2008 – Well the WNBA off-season’s been anything but boring. First news that the Houston Comets were shutting their doors. Now news that legendary player Chamique Holdsclaw is coming back to the league.
A six-time league All-Star and Rookie of the Year in 1999, Holdsclaw shockingly announced her retirement in June of 2007 — just five games into the season despite leading the team with 15.8 points per game — and pursued an overseas hoops career.
With Holdsclaw back, here’s wishing her and Atlanta the best this season.
From a WNBA release:
The Atlanta Dream acquired the rights to forward Chamique Holdsclaw from the Los Angeles Sparks today in exchange for the 13th overall pick (first round) in the 2009 WNBA Draft. Holdsclaw, an eight-year veteran, is returning to the WNBA after a two year hiatus.
“We are very excited to bring one of the best players in Tennessee women’s basketball history to our roster,” said Team President & COO Bill Bolen. “The excitement this will bring to our fans is huge. We think it’s going to make a big impact on the Atlanta community and the entire southeast.”
The first overall draft pick in the 1999 WNBA Draft, Holdsclaw spent the first six years of her career with the Washington Mystics, averaging 19 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. In her first season as a pro, she was named WNBA Rookie of the Year and was a starter in the inaugural WNBA All-Star game. In 2000, Holdsclaw was named to the Olympic team and earned a gold medal in Sydney.
December 11, 2008 – There’s one more week to share who in your life has “sparked” your dreams!
Each of us has a dream. Some of us dream big: we want to be a movie star, president, or a professional athlete. Some of us dream of being great: just like our mom, our dad, our big brother or sister, or our teachers and coaches. Whatever our dreams are, it is usually a special person in our lives who “sparks” those dreams.
Did watching Lisa Leslie hit a game winning shot inspire you to practice harder? Or maybe Candace Parker’s two dunks sparked you to reach heights you didn’t think possible? Perhaps someone in your family has inspired you to be great. This is your opportunity to tell who in your life has helped “spark” your dreams.
In 500 words or less, describe who in your life has provided the “spark” to your dreams. The winning submission will receive a visit from a Sparks player to their school, organization or workplace. Second and third place will receive four (4) red section tickets to the 2009 Sparks Opening Night game. Selected stories will also be shared on the LASparks.com. All entries must be received by 5pm PT on Wednesday, December 17, 2008.
For eligibility, rules and entry form visit wnba.com
btw: congrats to Sparks player Candace Parker who tied the knot with Shelden Williams when the couple eloped in Lake Tahoe last month.
October 4, 2008 – Twenty two-year-old Candace Parker received the WNBA’s most valuable player award last night, becoming the first player in the league’s 12 year history to win the award along with rookie of the year honors.
The awards capped a big run for Parker, who was college player of the year for national champion Tennessee. Parker also was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. team in the Beijing Olympics.
Parker was the only player in the league to pull down more than nine rebounds per game. Parker also led the league in double-doubles with 17 and ranked among WNBA leaders in rebounds per game (first), blocks per game (second), points per game (fourth), field goal percentage (fifth), minutes player (seventh) and assists per game (17th).
Parker joined some elite company on Friday as she became the first women’s basketball player and only the third basketball player ever to win Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in the same year – joining Wilt Chamberlain (1959-60) and Wes Unseld (1968-69).
In honor of being named the WNBA Most Valuable Player, Parker will pocket $15,000 and a trophy.
When asked by WNBA.com what she’ll do you do for an encore, CP laughed and answered “Win a championship.”
With that said, we can’t wait for next season!
September 19, 2008 – WNBA rookie Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks is on track to make women’s basketball history as the first of three rounds of playoffs begin tonight.
Parker and the No. 3 seed Sparks begin the quest for their first championship since 2002 in a Western Conference home game against No. 2 seed Seattle Storm.
The Trifecta: Parker will be looking to add to this year’s accomplishments of leading the Tennessee Lady Vols to a second NCAA championship in a row and helping the USA win the Olympic gold medal in Beijing.
No woman has accomplished the college, pro and Olympic trifecta in the same season. On the men’s side, only Boston Celtics center Bill Russell can make the claim.
What do you think? Will she make history?
September 18, 2008 – The 2008 WNBA Playoffs get underway tonight as the Connecticut Sun play the New York Liberty and the Sacramento Monarchs play the San Antonio Silver Stars. Tomorrow night Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm take on the Los Angeles Sparks.
The league is also prepping for post-season awards with Rookie of the Year almost certainly going to Candace Parker who is also in the running for MVP.
To break down the match ups and read blogs by players such as Deanna Nolan, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Lindsey Whalen, visit at WNBA.com
This week in WNBA History
September 16, 2003: The Detroit Shock won their first WNBA title against the Los Angeles Sparks in front of a sell-out crowd and record attendance for the WNBA of 22,076.
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