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    Sparks reward Dearica Hamby with 1-year contract extension
    • June 13, 2024

    LOS ANGELES — The Sparks signed forward Dearica Hamby, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, to a one-year contract extension, designating her as a “foundational” player on a rebuilding roster.

    Hamby’s salary was not disclosed Thursday.

    Fifteen months after giving birth to her second child, Hamby, 30, is having the best season of her 10-year career. The reigning WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week is averaging 20 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.6 steals while 54.1% shooting from the field, including 48% from 3-point range.

    “Having Dearica and her family as part of the Los Angeles Sparks is an honor. She has become foundational,” Sparks general manager Raegan Pebley said in a statement. “Dearica brings leadership, mentorship, skill, toughness, grit and courage daily. Some of her best days are still ahead of her, and we are excited to partner with her as she pursues them.”

    A 2022 WNBA champion with the Las Vegas Aces, Hamby is a two-time All-Star and two-time Sixth Woman of the Year, who was selected sixth overall by the San Antonio Stars in 2015. The Sparks traded for Hamby from the Aces in January 2023 when she was pregnant with her son Legend.

    “I’m grateful for finding a home in L.A. with an ownership group and organization that believes in me and has been nothing but supportive since the day I got here,” Hamby said. “I look forward to continuing to build with my teammates and getting the Sparks back to the standard that has been historically set.”

    Hamby started 19 of 40 games in her first season with the Sparks and averaged 8.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24.8 minutes.

    However, 12 games into her second 40-game regular season with the Sparks, Hamby has become the team’s go-to player and leads the WNBA in double-doubles (10) and rebounds per game. She is sixth in scoring, third in 3-point percentage and sixth in overall shooting percentage and is playing a team-high 36.2 minutes per game.

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    Hamby, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, is now under contract through the 2025 season. The 6-foot-3 forward now joins Julie Allemand, Cameron Brink, Lexie Brown, Rae Burrell, Layshia Clarendon, Zia Cooke and Rickea Jackson as players who will be under contract through at least next season.

    “I’m so excited about Dearica’s extension. She has been an incredible addition to our team and locker room since her arrival,” Sparks head coach Curt Miller said. “She is enjoying a fantastic year and leading our young team on and off the court. She has an outstanding motor and brings us energy each day.”

    ​ Orange County Register