Sparks Acquire Nicky Anosike via Trade

The Los Angeles Sparks have acquired forward/center Nicky Anosike from the Washington Mystics in exchange for guard Natasha Lacy and forward/center LaToya Pringle, Sparks Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler announced Thursday.

The 6’4” Anosike (ANN-uh-SEE-kay) is a four-year WNBA veteran with career averages of 9.6 points and 7.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.0 blocks in 129 regular season games, 122 of those starts. After spending her first three seasons with the Minnesota Lynx – where she was a member of the 2008 WNBA All-Rookie Team and a 2009 All-Star – Anosike was traded to Washington prior to the 2011 campaign for a 2012 first round draft pick (No. 3 overall). Last season, she ranked eighth in the league in both rebounding (7.2 per game) and total steals (49), and established her career-high of 29 points in a June 9 win over Atlanta.

In Los Angeles, she will be reunited with former University of Tennessee teammate Candace Parker. The duo helped lead the Lady Vols to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2007 and 2008. In addition, Sparks Head Coach Carol Ross had an opportunity to mentor Anosike on the gold medal-winning USA Basketball squad at the 2005 FIBA Under-19 World Championships.

“Nicky has a tremendous ability to impact a game, and is one of the league’s best rebounders year-in and year-out. Defensively, she has great instincts,” Ross said. “Being back in tandem with Candace Parker will give Nicky an opportunity to expand her game. Penny keeps adding great pieces to the puzzle and I’m really excited to see how we gel in training camp.”

Anosike was drafted in the second round, 16th overall in 2008 by Minnesota and promptly shattered the franchise record for steals in a season with 75 while ranking third among all rookies in scoring (9.2 ppg). During her All-Star campaign of 2009, she became just the second player in WNBA history to lead her team in all five major statistical categories: scoring (13.2 ppg), rebounding (7.4 rpg), assists (2.7 apg), steals (2.7 spg) and blocked shots (0.93 bpg).

Anosike is currently playing for Beijing Great Wall in China, where she is averaging a team-high 15.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game and recently led her squad a four-game sweep in the WCBA Finals.

"It still hasn't hit me yet - I'm so excited to be a part of the LA Sparks! I know the expectations for me are really high and I’m ready to meet that challenge,” Anosike said. “I haven't won a championship since playing with Candace at Tennessee, and I know we're both focused on being champions again and having fun while doing it."

Earlier this month, the Sparks acquired guard/forward Marissa Coleman in a trade with Washington and signed free agent guard/forward Alana Beard, who had previously been with the Mystics as well.

The Sparks will tip-off the 2012 season Friday, May 18 at the Seattle Storm before the same two teams do battle at STAPLES Center on Sunday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. For group and season ticket information, call 877-44-SPARKS or visit