LOS ANGELES – Sparks Executive Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler today announced the signing of Sandrine Gruda, returning the veteran forward/center to Los Angeles. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Sandrine adds another layer of experience and leadership to our deep roster,” said Toler. “She was an integral part of our team in 2014 and we look forward to her being able to come in and have an impact through the final regular season push and into the playoffs.”
Gruda was originally acquired by the Sparks in 2014 from the Connecticut Sun in exchange for a 2014 WNBA first round draft pick (#11) and 2015 second round draft pick. She played 34 games with Los Angeles before spending the 2015 season prepping for the 2016 Olympics with the French National team.
“We are excited that Sandrine is joining our team,” said head coach Brian Agler. “She will give us depth and versatility, added athleticism, and a veteran mindset.”
A four-year WNBA veteran, she was drafted in 2007 by Connecticut and played three seasons (2008-2010) with the Sun. Through 119 games with Los Angeles and Connecticut, she owns career averages of 8.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 19.6 minutes.
Gruda is a member of the French national team, most recently competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics (4th) and a Silver medalist in the 2012 Summer Olympics. She has played in Russia with UMMC Ekaterinburg since 2008, earning two Euroleague titles (2013, 2016) and eight Russian League titles (2009-2016). In 2009 she was named FIBA’s Europe Player of the Year Award.
The Sparks also waived guard Whitney Knight. The Sparks second round draft pick (15th overall), Knight averaged 0.9 points, 0.4 rebounds and 3.9 minutes in 7 games played .