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Dearica Hamby Shines Bright in Los Angeles Sparks' Season Opener Despite Loss to Atlanta Dream

Dearica Hamby celebrates during game against Atlanta Dream - photo by Jackie Rae

In a captivating display of athleticism and resilience, fans flooded the Walter Pyramid Arena in Long Beach to witness the Los Angeles Sparks' season opener against the Atlanta Dream, with one name resounding through the stands: Dearica Hamby.


The star-studded night included appearances by Kim Kardashian, Jemelle Hill, and Magic and Cookie Johnson.  


Sparks head coach Curt Miller set the tone for the evening, emphasizing that this season, much like the last, is a journey of building and growth. And if Wednesday's opener was any indication, Sparks fans have every reason to be optimistic.


From the opening tip-off, it was evident that this wasn't a team searching for its identity; it was a team on a mission. Each player executed their role with precision, displaying a level of cohesion that belied any notion of early-season jitters.


That's not to say there weren't any mistakes.  Fatigue crept in for the starters, who sat on the sidelines as the fourth quarter began, allowing Atlanta to go on a 9-0 run.  Kia Nurse led the team with 23 points but occasionally overlooked Hamby's presence under the basket, leaving some easy buckets untaken. And the team struggled from the free-throw line.

  

Amid the trials and tribulations, there were moments of brilliance and personal bests.  Layshia Clarendon's triple-double was the first of her career, and Cameron Brink showcased her versatility on both ends of the court.


And then there was Hambey. Although she was visibly upset after being traded by the Las Vegas Aces last season, she has clearly found a new home. She stole the spotlight as her name echoed throughout the Walter Pyramid Arena, finishing the night with 20 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, and two steals, cementing her status as a pivotal figure for the Sparks.


Reflecting on her transformation, Hamby said, "I just came into camp very clear-minded."  


Indeed, Hamby's leadership extends beyond the court. She sets the tone for her teammates, both veterans and rookies, boldly asserting, " They know I mean business now!"


Although the Sparks lost the battle with the Dream 81-92, Hamby's and the rest of the team's performance should leave fans excited about the future. 


The Sparks will face another battle on Saturday, May 18, that will test their will as they face the two-time reigning champions, the Las Vegas Aces. 















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