Throughout the free agency process, new Los Angeles Sparks head coach Curt Miller has been searching for quality players both on and off the court. This led him to sign guard Jasmine Thomas and Dearica Hamby along with re-signing guard Lexie Brown.
“[Thomas], one of the most respected players in the league … She was my captain for all seven years in [the Connecticut Sun], obviously led us to great heights,” Miller said. “[Hamby] …support for her by her teammates, by the people around the league.”
During her career, Thomas averaged 9.6 points per game and has shot at 33.3 percent in three-pointers. Her abilities coincide with Miller’s desire to address the team’s three-point shooting capabilities. Thomas also played for Curt with the Connecticut Sun for the past seven seasons.
“We’re building, we’re putting … talented pieces together, All-Stars, there’s Olympians, we have a talented team with expectations,” Thomas said. “Playing under [Miller] we had a lot of success, but that’s winning, that’s finals experiences, that’s being in the playoffs consistently.”
Miller led the Sun to the 2022 WNBA Finals where they fell to the Las Vegas Aces. Thomas was unable to play due to an ACL injury while Hamby averaged eight minutes during the Finals. The Aces traded Hamby after eight seasons of being with the organization.
Earlier this year, Hamby claimed via social media that the Aces was trading her because of her pregnancy and that the organization discriminated against her. The WNBPA is investigating her grievances.
Hamby sees Los Angeles as a place to expand her game.
“I’ve played a role and put myself in a box … and I’ve been a selfless person to do that and it’s worked out for me,” she said. “But I think that now, I have an opportunity to step outside of that box and do the things that I wanted to do in the past.”
Brown shared her desire to stay with the Sparks during exit interviews last season. She scored 7.1 points per game and got 2.3 rebounds per game while shooting at 39 percent from downtown during her first season with the Sparks.
“I see a team that’s gonna play really fast, a team that values outside shooting a lot, which is great for me,” Brown said. “A team that cares about each other and is gonna have a lot of fun out there, be competitive on both sides of the ball.”
Brown looks forward to playing defense alongside Thomas, they were teammates at Duke and during Brown’s rookie year with the Sun.
“It’s been exciting for me to watch her journey and how she’s blossomed and came into her own and being confident,” Thomas said. “She has an amazing skill set, terrific shooter; I’ve always been cheering her on from afar, I’m excited to actually get to play with her again.”