Sparks Tip-Off 15th WNBA Season this Friday vs. Minnesota

The WNBA’s 15th season tips off this Friday, June 3 at 8 p.m. when the Los Angeles Sparks host the Minnesota Lynx at STAPLES Center. The game marks the Sparks return of Candace Parker from her injury-shortened 2010 campaign, and the debut of No. 1 overall WNBA Draft pick Maya Moore for Minnesota.

Fans can purchase single game tickets starting at just $10 online at LASparks.com, by phone at 877-44-SPARKS (772757), at the STAPLES Center box office and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Season tickets, as well as flexible mini-plan options, are also available. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a free opening night t-shirt courtesy of LA County Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, as well as a schedule magnet courtesy of Farmers Insurance.

One of three original WNBA franchises dating back to the league’s inception in 1997, the Sparks are led into battle by second-year head coach Jennifer Gillom. In addition to Parker, Los Angeles features star power in the form of the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer Tina Thompson, all-time leader in assists leader Ticha Penicheiro and 12-year veteran DeLisha Milton Jones.

The Sparks roster was bolstered by the off-season acquisitions of forward Ebony Hoffman and first round draft pick Jantel Lavender, a center from Ohio State.

Moore – Connecticut’s all-time leading scorer – begins her WNBA career with the Lynx after becoming the fourth Husky to be selected the No. 1 pick. She led UConn to an NCAA-record 90 consecutive wins.

Los Angeles enters the regular season on a high note, defeating Seattle 71-66 and Phoenix 83-72 in its two preseason games. Meanwhile Minnesota also went 2-0 in the preseason, topping the Indiana Fever in both contests.

“I think it’s a great opener, I mean we want to start out against some of the best teams and best players,” Gillom said.

The month of June not only features Friday’s home opener, but three more exciting games at STAPLES Center. The Sparks will face Western Conference rival Phoenix on Friday, June 10, defending WNBA champion Seattle on Sunday, June 19 and the WNBA’s 15th anniversary game against the New York Liberty on Tuesday, June 21. That game will be played 15 years to the day after the league’s inaugural contest between the same two teams at The Forum in Inglewood.