The Los Angeles Sparks celebrated their 2016 WNBA Championship Monday with hundreds of fans outside their home court Staples Center.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Ninth District Councilor Curren Price praised the team for winning the third title for the franchise, and the first in 14 years. Sparks general manager Penny Toler and chief operating officer Christine Simmons expressed their excitement about the Championship and their appreciation for the athletes and fans.
Members of the team took turns at the microphone, sometimes regaling the crowd with jokes. Coach Brian Agler declared Los Angeles to be “the basketball capitol of the world” that day. A little later he told guard Alana Beard she should come back for another year, hinting that she is considering retirement.
Sharp-shooter Kristi Toliver began her remarks by saying, “I’ve been told I don’t smile that much.” She ended them with a vow: “I promise I’ll smile more.”
Videos and pictures of the celebration:
Evgeniia Belyakova, Sandrine Gruda, Ana Dabovic, Essence Carson and Chelsea Gray address the crowd.
Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker take turns at the mic.