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WNBA champions L.A. Sparks post 2017 preseason schedule

Cassandra Cousineau | OW Contributor | 3/30/2017, midnight
Reigning WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks announced its 2017 preseason schedule. Preseason tip off will have the Sparks on the ...

Reigning WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks announced its 2017 preseason schedule. Preseason tip off will have the Sparks on the road on May 2, for a 2 p.m. game at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. The champs will then face the Connecticut Sun at the same arena Wednesday, May 3 at 4 p.m.

Following their road trip, the Sparks will head home to an L.A. location yet to be announced against the San Antonio Stars on Saturday, May 6 at 4 p.m.

The regular season home opener will feature the team’s championship ring ceremony on May 13.

The Sparks are piling up hardware. In addition to the 2016 season, the team won back-to-back WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002. Last year, they were led by an MVP performance by Candace Parker.

After two straight losing seasons, the Sparks bested the Minnesota Lynx to win its first WNBA title in 14 years. It was the fifth appearance in six years for the Lynx.

A stunning Game 5 victory was sealed on a 5-foot shot sank by Nneke Ogwumike while falling on her back with just two seconds remaining in regulation. The 77-76 win made Ogwumike the seventh player in league history to win a league MVP Award and a championship in the same season.

It was a historic win for the Sparks. One of the WNBA’s original teams, Los Angeles claimed the title in the league’s 20th season. In the process, the Sparks also prevented the Lynx from becoming the first team to repeat as champions since they accomplished the feat in 2001-02.

A message from President Obama

Disappointingly, the team wasn’t able to make the customary trip to the White House while President Obama was in office. Due the numerous overseas commitments WNBA players tend to have, it became too difficult to organize a team visit to Washington, D.C.

After some back-and-forth with WNBA officials, including personal calls made by Terri Jackson, the WNBPA’s director of operations, the President responded.

“Congratulations on winning the 2016 WNBA championship. Winning a title is never easy. Your hard work and determination set an impressive example, and your victory reflects the character and resilience you demonstrate both on and off the court. I admire your commitment to giving back and making a difference in your community.

Congratulations, again, on your well-deserved success. I wish you all the very best.”

WNBPA president, Nneka Ogwumike, replied in a statement on behalf of the team, “We will forever be inspired by the President and First Lady Michelle Obama. We look forward to opportunities to work with the Obama Foundation on future policy and programmatic initiatives that will further inspire young people for greatness. The official communication from the President is a recognition of our accomplishments and the beginning of those possibilities.”

For ticket purchasing and information for the Los Angeles Sparks, call 844-GO-SPARKS, email tickets@LA-Sparks.com or visit LASparks.com.