The Los Angeles Sparks’ further strengthened their roster by re-signing All-Star point guard Chelsea Gray, the team said in a release Tuesday.
In 2018, Gray averaged a career-high 14.9 points, 5.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game and earned her second consecutive All-Star selection.
“Chelsea is one of the best point guards in the WNBA,” Sparks Executive Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler said in a statement. “She is a winner and leader, on and off the court. I’m thrilled to re-sign her and solidify her as a cornerstone of our franchise and our future success.”
With Gray on board, first-year head coach Derek Fisher will lead a Sparks team that boasts four All-Stars — also including Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike, whom they acquired Saturday in a trade for a 2020 first-round draft pick — as well as two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year Alana Beard.
Gray attended Duke and was drafted 11th overall in the 2014 by the Connecticut Sun. After the Sparks acquired her in a 2016 draft day trade with the Sun, Gray played a significant role in the Sparks’ championship run that season.
In 2017, she was named to the All-WNBA second team and led the WNBA in 3-point shooting percentage at 48.2%.
“I’m happy to be back with such a great organization,” Gray said in the team’s release. “The fans have always shown me so much love. This group is special on and off the court. We’re on a mission to win another championship, and we have the group to get it done.”
She’s currently playing in the Turkish league playoffs for Cukurova Mersin, alongside recent Sparks signee Alina Iagupova, a guard who averaged 20-plus points in Euroleague play.
Gray, in addition to her on-court prowess, is a member of the Venice-based Safe Place for Youth advisory board of directors, through which she has organized a couple of “Gray Matters Shoe Giveaway” drives at which hundreds of pairs of sneakers have been given away.
The Sparks’ season tips off Sunday, May 26, in Las Vegas, where they’ll face the Aces. The Sparks’ home opener is scheduled for May 31 at Staples Center against the Connecticut Sun.
The team will open training camp Sunday at USC’s Galen Center.
To every fan out there wondering about @cgray209… this one is for you.
Full Release: https://t.co/aX3g3JMIUu#GoSparks #LeadTheCharge pic.twitter.com/H9Kssra7CJ
— Los Angeles Sparks (@LA_Sparks) April 30, 2019