The Sparks hosted their first home game since the pandemic and won 75-70 against the Indiana Fever. It was a crowd full of fans excited to be back in the arena.
The night could not have been better, community organizations were recognized for their hard giving back, and the energy from everyone in the building helped lift the Sparks to victory.
Head coach Derek Fisher said their fan base had been the most consistent since the WNBA launched in 1997. As they are still navigating to bring people together during this pandemic, Fisher stated the players felt and appreciated the energy from fans. “It feels like you’re big time in this building.”
Sparks will take the win and will look to fix their mistakes, according to Fisher.
In Nneka Ogwumike’s return, she finished with 12 points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes. Fisher and her teammates understand it will be progress for the 2016 MVP to be back in full stride. Everyone was more than happy to see her on the floor.
Nneka says, “It feels great to be back. I entered this game with a mindset of wanting to have fun and do what I can for my team. I’m glad I was able to help my team get a win.”
She stated that the communication with the team never stopped while she was out. “Now, being able to put those words into action is a great thing. I stayed involved as much as possible.”
Brittney Sykes, who is known for her defense, reached 1500 career points. But, Fisher says, “For her to get to a point in her career where she scores 1500 points, it starts with to become that simple, that you’ve been in this league for a little bit and you’re continuing to perform at a level that lets people know it’s real.”
He states Sykes has a high ceiling and room for growth over the next couple of years. “We’ve been grateful for her presence. We believe she can be great.”
She credits her teammates, says without them, she wouldn’t be able to do it. Sykes also credits her coaches for putting her in a position to score.
“Cheers to 1500. It’s humbling,” Brittney states.
Sykes spoke on the infectious energy from the fans. “You hear them yelling your name, and you want to recognize it because it’s genuine love. They love being here. I’m grateful, and it took a minute to let it soak in. It’s a humbling experience.”
The Sparks will face the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday.