Sparks Sign Australian National Team Member Jenna O'Hea
“Jenna is a versatile player who we think has a chance to make an immediate impact,” Sparks’ Head Coach Jennifer Gillom said. “At 6’1”, she has excellent mobility and will add size to our backcourt. I’m excited to begin coaching her.”
The 23-year-old O’Hea joins the Sparks from the Bulleen Melbourne Boomers of Australia’s top-flight Women’s National Basketball League. In 2010-11, her second season with the Boomers, she averaged 12.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists over 15 games en route to helping the club earn its first WNBL title in its 26-year history. Those 5.1 assists per game ranked fourth in the league, while in 2009-10 O’Hea was selected to the WNBL’s All-Star Five, which is analogous to the All-WNBA First Team; this year’s All-Star Five will be announced April 4. She has played in the WNBL since 2003, and also gained experience with French club Arras in 2008-09.
Internationally, O’Hea made her debut with the Senior National Team in 2009 and was named to the Opals’ 2010 FIBA World Championship squad. Over nine tournament games in Spain she averaged 5.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists en route to Australia’s fifth-place finish. O’Hea scored six points in 22 minutes in a group stage loss to the United States on Sept. 29, 2010, while in a pre-World Championships exhibition win over the Americans 12 days earlier she poured in a game-high 24 points.
The Traralgon, Victoria native first suited up for Australia’s Junior National Team in 2003, and helped her country earn a silver medal at the 2007 FIBA Under-21 World Championships.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity to play for the Sparks,” O’Hea said. “I know both Coach Gillom and [Assistant] Coach [Sandy] Brondello well, and I’m looking forward to working with them and playing alongside some of the world’s best players. I hope to bring a bit of energy to the Sparks; I think that’s what us Aussies are known for!”
The Sparks will further add to their roster during the 2011 WNBA Draft, and are holding a draft viewing party for fans on Monday, April 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ESPN Zone at LA Live. For more information, click here.
The Sparks begin their 15th WNBA season on Friday, June 3, hosting the Minnesota Lynx at STAPLES Center at 8 p.m. PT. For group and season ticket information, call 877-44-SPARKS (772757) or visit LASparks.com.