Tina Thompson to play for Sparks
Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times
Lisa Leslie, left, and Tina Thompson embrace after the gold-medal triumph in the Athens Olympics.
WNBA’s No. 2 all-time scorer will fill a gap created by Candace Parker’s absence.
By Lisa Dillman
March 12, 2009
Tina Thompson, the WNBA’s second all-time leading scorer behind Lisa Leslie, is coming home to play for the Sparks.
The team is expected to formalize the signing of the free-agent forward with a news conference in Los Angeles on Thursday. Though the move was widely expected, Thompson’s presence will fill the large opening created by the absence of Candace Parker to start the season. Parker is expecting her first child and will miss an undetermined portion of the season.
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Thompson has almost come full circle, as she’ll join forces with her fellow Olympian and former antagonist, Leslie. Thompson followed Leslie to high school at Inglewood Morningside, a freshman during Leslie’s senior season, and again to USC.
And now she will do it again, playing with Leslie in what will be Leslie’s final WNBA season.
Thompson became an unrestricted free agent when the Houston Comets folded. She was a cornerstone of the dynasty there, winning four WNBA titles, playing in seven All-Star games and became only one of three players to score 5,000 points in the league.