Sunday, January 20, 2019
Page 780

Kristi Harrower signs with Sparks

Yep, yep, the little bird that told me was right.

G’Day Kristi!

Your Los Angeles Sparks have signed 2008 Basketball Victoria Player of the Year,
Kristi Harrower!

Harrower just won an Olympic silver medal in Beijing with the Australian National Team.

Welcome to Los Angeles Mate!

As MVPs, you heard it first!

SPARKS SIGN AUSTRALIAN STAR KRISTI HARROWER

LOS ANGELES – Three-time Olympic silver medalist and 2008 Basketball Victoria Player of the Year Kristi Harrower has signed with the Los Angeles Sparks it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Harrower has been a staple of the Australian national basketball team that has proven they are second only to the United States. Harrower last played in the WNBA in 2005 for the Minnesota Lynx but brings a wealth of international experience to the Sparks.

“We’re very happy to have signed Kristi. She has played at high level for a number of years,” said Sparks Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler. “She is a point guard with a lot of experience and we’re excited to have her compete in training camp.”

The 5’4″ guard led the Bendigo Spirit in 2008-09 with 19.4 points and 6 assists in 20 games played. In her final season with the Lynx, Harrower averaged 4.6 points in 34 games.

Harrower was awarded the Betty Watson Medal for the 2008 Female Player of the Year at the Basketball Victoria 2008 Annual Awards Dinner last month. The medal is presented to the female player who has made the greatest contribution at state, national and international levels in the past year.

The Los Angeles Sparks tip-off the WNBA season on June 6th at the STAPLES Center against the Defending Champion Detroit Shock at 11:30 am. For more information on season or group tickets logon to www.lasparks.com or call 877-44-SPARKS.

Kristi Harrower goes to……..

On the wnba.com transaction page today, readers can see that the Minnesota Lynx renounced the rights to point guard Kristi Harrower. This gives the Aussie free agent status.

A few days ago, before this went down, I heard that Harrower will probably end up part of a west coast WNBA team.

The next few days could be interesting.

Sparks’ Quinn already giving back

Noelle Quinn, acquired by the Los Angeles Sparks yesterday, is doing something more of us should do: she bought season tickets to give away to kids. Send in your essay explaining why you think you should win them, and they’re yours. You’ve got a few weeks to do it, too:

The Bishop Montgomery HS alum, known for her many community endeavors, has decided to become a “Patron of Lisa’s Legacy.” Quinn purchased three season tickets to send three kids to each Sparks home game. In total, 51 kids will benefit from Quinn’s sponsorship. To be eligible to win a ticket sponsored by Noelle Quinn, kids can nominate themselves, their friends or be nominated by their parents beginning on Wednesday, May 6th through Monday, June 1st. In 250 words or less, entrants must describe why they feel they deserve the tickets by sending an e-mail to contests@la-sparks.com with “Noelle’s Tickets” in the subject line. Each winner will receive a post-game meet-and-greet with Noelle.

Link: http://www.wnba.com/sparks/news/quinn_50509.html

Odds and ends from all sides of the hoopin’ spectrum

* Happy belated birthday to Dawn Staley, who turned 39 yesterday.

* Lauren Jackson apparently does have a heart after all:

“I love the Storm – I love playing there,” Jackson said late Monday night in her only interview between signing her new contract and leaving for a vacation with her parents. “For different reasons, the opportunity came up to play somewhere else. It came down basically to me loving it in Seattle. I’ve said for a long time it’s my home there in America. I couldn’t bear to leave. I just wanted to come home and make the decision and be with my parents and my friends here and do it that way. It was easier for me.”

Jackson also referred to potentially leaving the Storm as probably “The biggest mistake that I’d ever made,” and reiterated what a special place Seattle has become for her.

“It came down basically to me loving it in Seattle. I’ve said for a long time it’s my home there in America. I couldn’t bear to leave.”
Aaron Last/Storm Photos

“I’m really fortunate and I’m glad that I had this time to think about it and really put what I love about Seattle in perspective and how I would feel if I left,” she said. “I think that I would have lost a huge part of me if I had gone from Seattle, so I’m just glad that I got this opportunity to have this time and realize how important it is.”

Timing played a factor in Jackson’s thought process. Entering the Storm’s 10th Anniversary season, she thought back on the start of her own career, and her development as a player and a person that has in many ways been intertwined with the Storm’s growth as a franchise.

“There’s definitely a lot of nostalgia when I think about it, like when I first came over to Seattle and I was so scared and I just didn’t know what to expect being away from home,” Jackson recalled. “Looking back on it, I don’t know how I’ve lasted this long overseas, but I guess that’s just a part of growing up and loving what you do. Seattle definitely has been my home, and the 10th season coming up obviously was something that made me want to be there even more, because I feel like I’ve been part of that program and helped it grow for a long time.”

Link: http://www.wnba.com/storm/news/jackson090505.html

* How is Michael Cooper going to coach both USC and the Sparks if the latter go deep into the playoffs, which will take them into October?

Link: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2009/05/michael-cooper-maintains-sparks-is-no-1-priority-before-coaching-usc-womens-hoops-college-inexperien.html

* Kellie Harper will have a “tough task” heading NC State:

http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2009/may/03/harper-settles-in-for-a-tough-task/

But how many schools are like Western Carolina, who had a “good luck” party for their outgoing coach on April 27?

Pretty classy, WC.

Los Angeles Sparks: a kudo and a prediction

I’d like to commend Sparks co-owners Kathy Goodman and Carla Christofferson for working so hard to build a solid and deep team this year. You’ve both been busting your butts over time, and that’s admirable.

You’ve also rebounded well after being caught off-guard with Coach Michael Cooper’s announcement that he was considering the head coach job at USC. You didn’t let that trip you up; you came back stronger. I know it’s you two doing all of this, hence the acknowledgement. I hope that your next plan is to find the best coach in the world to take over when Cooper leaves.

Candace Parker: so many people have said about your season this year, “god knows when she’ll be back,” referring to the impending birth of your daughter. I don’t think those people know you very well, though. I’m going on the record right now as predicting you’ll be back in July, if not sooner, and it will seem like you never left.

Thirty-one days til the opening game.

But wait, there’s more……….

SPARKS ACQUIRE L.A. NATIVE NOELLE QUINN

Sparks Trade Spencer to New York Liberty for 2010 First-Round Pick; Send First-Round Pick and Masciadri to Minnesota Lynx for Quinn

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Sparks today acquired former UCLA star and Los Angeles native Noelle Quinn. The Sparks traded Sidney Spencer to the Liberty in exchange for their 2010 First-Round draft pick and then sent the exclusive negotiating rights for Raffaella Masciadri and the Liberty’s First-Round pick to the Lynx.

“Noelle is a great player; we are very happy about her addition to the team and to be bringing her home,” said Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler. “We wish both Raffaella and Sidney the best. Their time here has been great and we believe that this is a mutually beneficial trade all the way around.”

Originally selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft by the Lynx, Quinn averaged 3.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in only 16.7 minutes per game in 2008 with 25 starts in just her second season in the league.

Quinn finished her career as the No. 4 all-time scorer in UCLA women’s basketball history with 1,829 points. She also totaled 794 rebounds (No. 8 on the UCLA career charts) and 450 assists (No. 7 all-time) to become the only UCLA basketball player, man or woman, to record career numbers of 1,800 points, 700 rebounds and 400 assists. She earned honorable mention All-America honors in her last two seasons and first-team All-Pac-10 acclaim as a freshman, junior and senior, as well as 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors.

“I am so blessed to be joining the Sparks family. My family has always had season tickets and I grew up watching them and then being able to play at UCLA, I always dreamed of having the opportunity to continue playing at home and now that it has come true, I’m overwhelmed,” said Quinn. “Thank you to everyone who helped bring me home. It’s such a privilege to share in Lisa’s last year, to have a chance to help this team win a title and to be here to give back to LA.”

Noelle’s mother, Golden Quinn, who currently teaches for the Los Angeles Unified School District, has been a Sparks season ticket holder since the WNBA’s inaugural season.

The Bishop Montgomery HS alum, known for her many community endeavors, has decided to become a “Patron of Lisa’s Legacy.” Quinn purchased three season tickets to send three kids to each Sparks home game. In total, 51 kids will benefit from Quinn’s sponsorship. To be eligible to win a ticket sponsored by Noelle Quinn, kids can nominate themselves, their friends or be nominated by their parents beginning on Wednesday, May 6th through Monday, June 1st. In 250 words or less, entrants must describe why they feel they deserve the tickets by sending an e-mail to contests@la-sparks.com with “Noelle’s Tickets” in the subject line. Each winner will receive a post-game meet-and-greet with Noelle.

For more information on Sparks season tickets, group tickets or partial plans please visit www.LASparks.com or call 1-877-44-SPARKS.

This sure makes things interesting for the Sparks. Bringin home some local flava.

Liberty gets Sidney Spencer for 2010 first-round pick

The Sparks just got a little less Tennessee. But what’s strange is that I just got this from the Liberty – not the Sparks – and I’m an LA season ticket holder:

Liberty Acquires Guard Sidney Spencer From Los Angeles In Exchange For 2010 1st Round Pick
New York, Los Angeles & Minnesota Complete Three-Team Trade

The New York Liberty has acquired guard Sidney Spencer from the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for the Liberty’s first round pick in the 2010 WNBA Draft, it was announced today by team president and general manager Carol Blazejowski. As per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. Los Angeles has sent the first round pick and forward Raffaella Masciadri to the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for guard Noelle Quinn.

Link: http://www.wnba.com/liberty/news/spencertrade090505.html?s12542c11270002o120894t12570n35043e

I’m happy for Sid. Her frustration at unecessarily languishing on the bench last season, after leading the team in 2007, was visible. Hopefully she’ll be utilized properly by NY. And the Sparks are back in it next year with a first-round pick. A win-win for all.

Pat Summitt honored with theater presentation

Quite an honor, really – a 2.5-hour presentation in the legendary coach’s honor:

Caldwell, who is now the head coach at UCLA, noted that Candace Parker wanted to attend but is due to have a baby girl any day now.

“A little Bruin … I mean a future Lady Vol,” Caldwell said.

There are several versions of this story floating around the web, but Maria Cornelius’ is the best because she always provides so much detail.

Lauren Jackson stays with Storm

Finally, she decides:

http://www.wnba.com/storm/news/jackson090504.html

And it’s the right choice, too. Congratulations to Seattle Storm fans.

Chantelle Anderson launches web site

Blog, gallery, Q and A, links – Atlanta Dream forward/center Anderson’s got it all covered:

http://www.chantelleanderson.com/

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