Seven past and current Sparks made the WNBA’s “The W25,” a list that honors “the 25 most dominant, skilled and entertaining players in league history” as voted on by a panel of select media and women’s basketball pioneers, the league announced Sunday.
The collection of stars includes current standout Nneka Ogwumike, as well as past Sparks greats Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker (who now now a member of the Chicago Sky). Also on the list: Seimone Augustus (who played for L.A. in 2020 and now is a Sparks assistant coach); Ticha Penicheiro (2010-11); Cappie Pondexter (2018) and Tina Thompson (2009-11).
In addition to being a six-time All-Star and the 2016 WNBA MVP, in her role as the president of the WNBA Players Association, she helped usher in a new collective bargaining agreement and structure the plan for the 2020 WNBA season to be played in a bubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
“I am so grateful to have my name listed amongst past and present legends who’ve pioneered the W over these amazing 25 years,” Ogwumike said in a news release. “As an athlete on the court, I’m proud of my career and hope to continue to leave a legacy of greatness. What I’ve been able to contribute to the game along with the phenomenal women of this league through generations is one of my greatest accomplishments. Being recognized for any impact I’ve made is a true honor.”
Leslie led the Sparks to two championships in addition to earning three WNBA MVP awards and twice winning Defensive Player of the Year. The center who played at USC and Inglewood’s Morningside High School was a 12-time All-WNBA selection and led the league in rebounding three times.
In her 13 seasons with the Sparks, Parker won Rookie of the Year, MVP, was a two-time MVP, the 2016 Finals MVP and a nine-time All-WNBA selection. She’s also a six-time All-Star and three-time league rebounding leader. She was named Defensive Player of the Year last season.
🥁 IT’S OFFICIAL 🥁
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 5, 2021