Sparks sign Yang Liwei, team's second China-born player

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Monday, February 20, 2023

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Sparks have signed guard Yang Liwei, who will become the second China-born player to suit up for the team.

Zheng Haixia was drafted by the Sparks in 1997 and played one season for them, leading the league in field goal percentage.

Yang recently led China to a silver medal in the 2022 FIBA Women's World Cup. She averaged 9.3 points, 3.9 assists and 1.6 rebounds in eight games.

In her most recent season with Inner Mongolia, Yang averaged 13.5 points, 5.2 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 19 games. She also shot a career-best 61% from the field.

Yang previously played 10 seasons in Guangdong, including two with current Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike in 2014 and 2019.

"She will bring us tremendous energy and enthusiasm on the court," Sparks coach Curt Miller said in a statement. "She is a terrific leader on the Chinese National Team and we look forward to that leadership impacting our locker room."