Sparks guard Jasmine Thomas poses in front of the Watts Health Care mobile mammogram vehicle (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States. The Los Angeles Sparks showed the importance of early detection when they partnered with the ACS and the Watts Health Center to provide free mammograms.

Sparks guard Jasmine Thomas visited the Watts Health Center to advocate for breast cancer prevention. For the first nine years of her WNBA career, Thomas did not play in two games; during seven of those seasons, she would play over 20 minutes per game.

Sparks head coach Curt Miller refers to Thomas as an “iron woman,” her only major injury in the WNBA to date being her ACL tear in 2022. Despite her health and durability during her pro career, breast cancer runs in her family.

“It’s a very personal cause for me,” Thomas said. “To be able to be in the community, that way, is even more significant and I’m happy I could be here.”

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In her early thirties, Thomas had her own breast cancer scare and had to do a mammogram.

Thomas toured the Watts Health Center and met with several medical workers and staff members (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“I was lucky it was benign but still, I wouldn’t have even known what was going on had I not gone in,” Thomas said. “There’s no early time to start doing self-exams. There’s no early time to—If you can or if you have access—to be able to get a mammogram.”

The Watts Health Center had a mobile mammogram vehicle stationed in their parking lot to administer the screenings.

“Every breast cancer you diagnose early being at a mobile unit or in our imaging department … that’s one life saved,” said Watts Healthcare Corporation chief medical officer Oliver Brooks. “I think it is important to have partnerships like this because it reaches out in the community.”

Patients can check early by doing self-exams, talking to their doctor during checkups, and taking BRCA genetic testing.

“If you are over 40, you need to have conversations with your doctor,” said American Cancer Society director of marketing Rosa Navas. “The great thing about the Sparks partnership is it’s really health-focused on health equality, looking at the cancer disparities and closing the gap.”

Thomas spent time with patients who got free mammograms (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Thomas met with patients that got mammograms and took a tour of the various departments of the Watts Health Center. She greeted and met with nurses, doctors, and staff members throughout the tour.

“I think it’s a big thing because they are role models,” said Watts/Willowbrook field representative Deon Arnold. “When we was growing up, we didn’t really see too many people come out, so I think it’s always a plus when you see somebody take their time to come out there and represent.”

Belinda Myers arrived to get her mammogram clad in purple and gold; she was elated to meet Thomas and express her fandom for the Sparks.

“I’ve been going here for 11-12 years so I got to keep coming,” Myers said about the Watts Health Center. “I need to take care of my body and take care of my health.”

To learn more about the American Cancer Society and the Watts Health Center, visit and