The Los Angeles Sparks recently hosted a Jr. Sparks virtual clinic featuring rookie guard, Te’a Cooper. During the clinic, youth participated in shooting and footwork drills, they also competed in challenges to get prizes.
Cooper also gave away autographed “Te’a Time” shirts to winners of challenges and hosted a Q&A session. The participants asked a myriad of questions, including challenges she faced to her shoe size to playing in the WNBA Wubble in Florida last season.
“Not having fans made it feel like it was practice, so it was easier to just be there,” Cooper said. “The bad side of it was you didn’t get to have your family watching you, you didn’t get to hear nobody cheering you on when you did something good other than your teammates.”
During the Q&A session, Cooper discussed meeting her Sparks teammates for the first time and how she recovered from her ACL injury during her college years.
Youth near and far participated in the clinic, kids from Los Angeles, Van Nuys, Chicago, Georgia, New York City and even Sweden tuned in.
“I just found out that I had a lot of fans in Nigeria and Africa,” Cooper said. “It’s amazing to have love and support from places I ain’t never even been, like that’s amazing.”
Cooper had a breakout rookie season, averaging 17.3 minutes, 7.0 points, and 2.0 assists per game. She also shot at 34.4 percent from the three-point line.
Sparks assistant coach, Latricia Trammell thought that Cooper was a defensive standout during the 2020 season. Cooper noted how Trammell was a hands-on coach who knows how to explain her instructions. Trammell would watch film with Cooper and explain to her certain details that needed to be improved.
“I think her preciseness on your feet, the direction of your feet, the way you slide in and raise up if you make a move or if you stay low,” Cooper said. “She spent so much time with me and it was really beneficial.”
Since the end of the 2020 season, Cooper has joined the Jordan Brand along with WNBA stars Jordin Canada, Dearica Hamby, Crystal Dangerfield, and Satou Sabally. She describes this experience as “unbelievable.” In 2015, Cooper was able to participate in the Jordan Brand Classic for women.
“It was a big thing … Maya Moore was there,” Cooper said. “[Michael Jordan] showed up after our game and gave us a speech and it was so amazing just being in his presence.”
While she is enjoying the perks of being with the Jordan brand, Cooper is ardently working in the gym to improve her game. Working on her jump shot and speeding up her shot are some areas she has been concentrating on.
“I actually love working out, I like when I workout and it hurts,” Cooper said. “I think that’s what I like to do, the fact that you can feel when you’re getting better or it’s actually working.”