In the wake of WNBA icon Candace Parker departing from the Los Angeles Sparks, the franchise signed former New York Liberty center Amanda Zahui B. A versatile post player who can shoot three-pointers, she averaged 9.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game while shooting at 34.0 percent in three-point shots last season.
Zahui B looks forward to building up her game from head coach Derek Fisher. In their conversations, he told Zahui B how she could improve.
“I was also being told that he was going to push me and just make me greater,” she said. “I appreciate that honesty, saying that I’m not where I’m supposed to be yet, but he is willing to work with me.”
Fisher felt the brunt of her potential in June 2019, when Zahui B scored 37 points on the Sparks at the Staples Center. She was 7-8 in three-pointers to help the Liberty win 98-92.
“I feel like I always have my best games out here,” Zahui B said. “I’m really excited to just keep building on that and play at my best every night when we play at home.”
Zahui B desires to work on her consistency; she wants to be a stronger presence in the paint. She also hopes to glean knowledge from All Star forward Nneka Ogwumike, noting her footwork.
“We all know she got great footwork, probably one of the best in the league, in the world,” Zahui B said. “Nneka is a role model that I look up to.”
She is excited to play alongside both Ogwumike sisters, shouting out their West African lineage during her introductory press conference. Zahui B called Chiney an “amazing soul.”
“They’ve always been so nice to me, since rookie year,” Zahui B said.
Like many WNBA players, Zahui B competes overseas in the offseason. Being a native of Sweden, she grew up watching FIBA Women’s Eurobasket. During the 2016-17 season, she played in EuroLeague Women while competing in the Russian Premier League; she helped Sweden to the quarterfinals.
“Playing in the Euroleague was one of my first dreams as a young baller,” she said. “Playing overseas has always been where I played the most minutes, where I had a chance to be on the court like game time and just develop my game.”
In 2019, Zahui B averaged 13 points and 9.3 rebounds in FIBA Women’s Eurobasket. Blocking shots and defending the basket feeds her competitive energy. She desires to learn how to read the defenses of teams. In her discussions, she wants to brand herself as more than a shooter.
The free agency season was frustrating for Zahui B as she is currently competing. With her being a planner, the uncertainty of free agency was a challenge.
“I’m a stereotypical virgo, I like to plan everything and I like to have everything in front of me,” Zahui B said. “Once I actually allowed myself to be out there and have conversations, I started to appreciate it more.”
Playing in Los Angeles comes with a high level of expectations, but Zahui B is not looking to disappoint the fan base.
“L.A. and Sparks are always on the winning side of things and I’m looking forward to being around champions,” she said. “I have teammates now that have won multiple championships and those are some of the best players in the world.”