Sparks acquire Parker’s college teammate Anosike

LOS ANGELES– The Los Angeles Sparks have acquired
forward/center Nicky Anosike from the Washington Mystics in exchange for guard
Natasha Lacy and forward/center LaToya Pringle, Sparks Vice President and
General Manager Penny Toler announced Thursday.

The 6’4” Anosike (ANN-oh-SICK-ee)
is a four-year WNBA veteran with career averages of 9.6 points and 7.1
rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.0 blocks in 129 regular season games, 122 of those
starts.  After spending her first three seasons with the Minnesota Lynx –
where she was a member of the 2008 WNBA All-Rookie Team and a 2009 All-Star –
Anosike was traded to Washington prior to the 2011 campaign for a 2012 first
round draft pick (No. 3 overall).  Last season, she ranked eighth in the
league in both rebounding (7.2 per game) and total steals (49), and established
her career-high of 29 points in a June 9 win over Atlanta.

In Los Angeles, she will be reunited with former University of Tennessee
teammate Candace Parker.  The duo helped lead the Lady Vols to
back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2007 and 2008.  In addition, Sparks
Head Coach Carol Ross had an opportunity to mentor Anosike on the gold
medal-winning USA Basketball squad at the 2005 FIBA Under-19 World

“Nicky has a tremendous ability to impact a game, and is one of the league’s
best rebounders year-in and year-out.  Defensively, she has great
instincts,” Ross said.  “Being back in tandem with Candace Parker will
give Nicky an opportunity to expand her game.  Penny keeps adding great
pieces to the puzzle and I’m really excited to see how we gel in training

Anosike was drafted in the second round, 16th overall in 2008 by
Minnesota and promptly shattered the franchise record for steals in a season
with 75 while ranking third among all rookies in scoring (9.2 ppg). 
During All-Star campaign of 2009, she became just the second player in WNBA
history to lead her team in all five major statistical categories: scoring
(13.2 ppg), rebounding (7.4 rpg), assists (2.7 apg), steals (2.7 spg) and
blocked shots (0.93 bpg).     
Anosike is currently playing for Beijing Great Wall in China, where she is
averaging a team-high 15.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game and has led her
squad into the WCBA Finals, currently taking place.

“It still hasn’t hit me yet – I’m so excited to be a part of the LA
Sparks! I know the expectations for me are really high and I’m ready to meet
that challenge,” Anosike said.  “I haven’t won a championship since
playing with Candace at Tennessee, and I know we’re both focused on being champions
again and having fun while doing it.”

Earlier this month, the Sparks acquired guard/forward Marissa Coleman in a
trade with Washington and signed free agent guard/forward Alana Beard, who had
previously been with the Mystics as well.