Sparks Rout Storm in the WNBA Playoffs

 Nneka Ogwumike celebrates with her sister during the WNBA playoffs. (Courtesy Photo)
Nneka Ogwumike celebrates with her sister during the WNBA playoffs. (Courtesy Photo)

By Cameron Buford,

In his first season as Head Coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, Derek Fisher led the Sparks to a 22-12 record despite his squad missing a combined 73 games from multiple contributors. In fact, in July, the Sparks were down to eight active players at one point this season. Creating unity inside a winning culture was the challenge Coach Fisher was faced with and I’d say the gaining a first-round bye in his first playoffs was a successful beginning.

Before Tip-Off of the single-elimination playoff game between the defending WNBA Champions Seattle Storm vs Sparks on Sunday, Sept. 15, Nneka Ogwumike, former No. 1 overall pick and 2012 WNBA Rookie of the Year Award winner was presented with the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. Along with being named to the All-Star team for the sixth time this season, Ogwumike was selected to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team for the fourth time.

Ms. Nneka will soon need to add on to her trophy room as the Stanford University graduate was named the WNBA Most Valuable Player in 2016 while leading the Los Angeles to the WNBA championship that season. Last year, she was also named the 2018 Season-long WNBA Community Assist Award presented by State Farm in recognition of her dedication to community outreach.

After a seven-month battle with cancer the late Kim Perrot, who helped guide the Houston Comets to their first two WNBA championships. The Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award has been presented each season to a player in the WNBA which exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, including ethical behavior, fair play, and integrity. Ogwumike led the national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters’ votes. Other’s in consideration was The Connecticut Sun’s Jasmine Thomas and the Atlanta Dream’s Elizabeth Williams tied for second with six votes each.

Without Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart, the Seattle Storm have faced an injury-riddled season so it was impressive for the defending champs to make the playoffs. On the other hand, the Sparks are now completely healthy and as such they overwhelmed Storm. Once again the LA beat Seattle beating by 20+ points for the second time in 2 short weeks.

Ogwumike and the Los Angeles Sparks will take their talents to Connecticut to case the Sun in their Semifinals series of the 2019 WNBA playoffs. The Sparks lead the season series 2-1 over Sun, who is led by Forward/ Center Jonquel Jones and Guard Courtney Williams. By virtue of their 23-11 record as compared to that of the 22-12 Sparks.

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