Season ticket holders got personally-addressed emails today, though I didn’t get mine until about an hour ago when I got home. My friend Monique called to tell me at about 2:30. Here’s the official release from Sparks co-owners Kathy Goodman and Carla Christofferson:
On behalf of the entire Sparks organization, we would like you to join us in congratulating Candace Parker and Shelden Williams on the upcoming birth of their first child this Spring. We are delighted to be adding a new Sparks fan, and we look forward to the one-on-one games between him/her and Lauren Lockwood.
We are excited that Candace plans to return to the court this season, and we are already getting ready for our home opener (which for the first time ever is our season opener) on June 6. We came closer to our goal of another WNBA Championship, and all of our Sparks players share our view that close is never good enough for Los Angeles!
Thank you, as always, for being the best fans in the WNBA. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Kathy and Carla
CANDACE PARKER EXPECTING HER FIRST CHILD THIS SPRING
(January 7, 2008) – Last year was a year of firsts for Candace Parker. In 2008 she was selected as the No. 1 overall 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 and she captured her first Olympic Gold Medal at the Summer Games in Beijing. Entering a new year, Parker has another special first to look forward to. This spring, she and husband Shelden Williams of the Sacramento Kings are expecting their first child.
“Shelden and I are very excited to be expanding our family,” said Parker. “We feel blessed and look forward to becoming parents.”
“We are happy to welcome a new addition into the Sparks family and on behalf of the entire organization we congratulate both Candace and Shelden,” said Penny Toler, Los Angeles Sparks General Manager.
Parker will continue to work out in preparation to participate in the 2009 WNBA season.
Parker nearly averaged a double-double her rookie season (18.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg) and she led the WNBA in rebounds. She earned the 2008 WNBA Rookie of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player award marking the first time in the WNBA’s 12 seasons that a rookie has won MVP. Parker won back-to-back NCAA championships with the Lady Vols in 2007 and 2008. She led the team in scoring (20.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg) her final season at Tennessee. Parker was named the 2007 and 2008 Collegiate Female John R. Wooden Player of the Year, State Farm Player of the Year, Basketball Writers Association National Player of the Year and Kodak All-American. She earned the NCAA Final Four MVP award in 2007 and 2008.
On the Sparks board fans are freaking out a bit, as would be expected. One person said the 2009 season is shot. In a later post this person said, “it’s disappointing all the fans who bought season tickets to see Candace play. She’s the new face of the WNBA, and now she’s out indefinitely, how does the WNBA market itself?”
I guess we shall see. You never know in this wild and woolly game of life, what will happen.
Pat Summitt told the News Sentinel that she had talked with Candace about it and both of them are excited. Summitt also said that if it was a girl, she’d hope she would come to Tennessee. Most interesting to me was that Candace released a statement through the University of Tennessee as well as the Sparks. Once a Lady Vol, always a Lady Vol, they say.
Congratulations to Candace.
Link to News Sentinel story: