LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Sparks have signed WNBA All-Star Essence Carson, executive vice president and general manager Penny Toler announced today.
The eight-year veteran guard holds career averages of 7.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 231 games played (119 starts) with the New York Liberty. Selected in the first round (7th overall) of the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Liberty, Carson leaves New York ranked seventh in franchise history with 1,790 total career points.
“We are excited about Essence being part of our team this season,” said head coach Brian Agler. “She is playing well and I have always appreciated her ability to play the game with consistency, competitiveness and toughness. She will play a significant role on the team and will boost our efficiency at both ends of the floor.”
Carson helped lead the Liberty to four postseason appearances during her eight seasons, including three trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. During her rookie season (2008) she appeared in and started every game of the Liberty’s run to the conference finals, averaging 16.8 mpg and 5.7 ppg through six contests.
“I am beyond excited to be joining the Los Angeles Sparks,” said Carson. “After spending my entire career in New York City, I felt this change was needed. Competing for a championship with an opportunity to contribute are my priorities and LA fit the bill. Just as the NY Liberty, the Sparks have their own legacy and I plan to uphold that to the best of my ability, as a person and player. Thank you for welcoming me to your city and your family.”
The 6-0 guard had her best season in 2012, averaging career-highs in points (11.6 ppg), rebounds (3.4 rpg), blocks (0.7 bpg) and minutes (27.3 mpg) in 34 games played (23 starts). In 2011 she averaged 11.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 32 games and was selected to represent the Eastern Conference in the WNBA All-Star Game.
A dedicated and compassionate member of the WNBA community, Carson is a two-time WNBA Community Assist Award presented by State Farm recipient, most recently winning the award in June 2015.