WNBA

Joe Bryant returns to LA Sparks as assistant

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LOS ANGELES (AP)

Joe ''Jellybean'' Bryant is returning to the Los Angeles Sparks as an assistant coach.

The father of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was head coach of the Sparks from late 2005 through the 2006 season. Also joining the team's staff is Sandy Brondello. She and Bryant will assist second-year coach Jennifer Gillom.

Bryant most recently was head coach of Raru Kamuy Hokkaido, a Japanese first division men's team. He also taught at a private basketball academy in Japan.

Bryant started with the Sparks as an assistant and was promoted to head coach late in the 2005 season, guiding the team to a playoff appearance. In 2006, he led the team to a 25-9 record and the Western Conference finals.

Brondello was head coach of San Antonio's WNBA team last season.

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