Sparks Acquire Vanessa Hayden

Vanessa HaydenThe Los Angeles Sparks have traded center Christi Thomas to the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for center Vanessa Hayden it was announced today. Drafted 12th overall in the 2004 Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, Thomas has played in 144 games and averaged 5.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in five seasons. Sidelined by a knee injury mid-way through the 2008 season, Thomas played in 20 games averaging 1.5 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.

Hayden, drafted 7th overall in the 2004 Draft by the Lynx, is a four-year veteran and graduate of the University of Florida. She comes to the Sparks after playing in 30 games in 2008 and averaging 6.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Hayden sat out the 2007 season to give birth to her daughter, Zyon Brianna Johnson on June 3, 2007. Her most successful season came in 2005 when she started 25 of 31 games and averaged 7.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. For her career she is averaging 6.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

"We are incredibly happy to be adding a player of Vanessa's size and talent to our roster. She is an extremely athletic and physical player that will really add to our presence in the post," said Sparks Head Coach Michael Cooper.

The Sparks open the 2009 season at the STAPLES Center June 6th against the Defending Champion Detroit Shock on ABC at 11:30am.  For more information on Sparks single-game tickets or one of the affordable full and partial season ticket plans call 877-44-SPARKS.

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