Nneka Ogwumike notifies Sparks she's leaving for free agency

ByRamona Shelburne ESPN logo
Thursday, January 25, 2024

Former WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike informed the Los Angeles Sparks on Wednesday that she intends to leave in free agency, the team told ESPN.

In a statement to ESPN on Wednesday, Sparks managing partner and governor Eric Holoman wrote: "I want to thank Nneka Ogwumike for 12 incredible seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks. Nneka has been a leader and changemaker for the Sparks, the city of Los Angeles, the WNBA, and women's sports. From drafting her No. 1 in 2012, to her game-winning shot in the 2016 WNBA Finals, her 2016 MVP trophy, and so many special memories, her legacy is cemented as one of the greatest to ever wear Purple & Gold."

Ogwumike has played her entire 12-year WNBA career with the Sparks since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2012. She felt it was important to inform the franchise of her decision to move on in what is her first opportunity to be a fully-unrestricted free agent, as soon as possible so Los Angeles could adjust its offseason approach.

"I have SO much. So much love for this city that unconditionally embraced this Stanford kid 12 years ago," Ogwumike posted on social media. "So much pride in being only a small piece of the legacy that is Championship City."

Ogwumike concluded her post by saying "LA, I hope it's not goodbye, but 'see you later.'"

Since the league's free agent negotiating window opened on Sunday, according to league sources, Ogwumike has taken meetings with the Sparks, Atlanta Dream, Phoenix Mercury and Chicago Sky. She intends to meet with the Seattle Storm and New York Liberty before making a decision on her next team.

Ogwumike won a title with the Sparks in 2016, the same season she was named the league's MVP.

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