Jantel Lavender Returns from Overseas’ Play

Los Angeles, CA (May 29, 2018)—The Sparks welcomed center Jantel Lavender back to Los Angeles today after she finished playing in the Turkish League Finals for Yakin Dogu.

“Jantel is a key part of our rotation and we’re excited to have her back in a Sparks uniform,” Sparks General Manager and Executive Vice President Penny Toler said.

Lavender will bring depth to the Sparks frontcourt as the team played their first four games without her, their first three without forward Candace Parker (back), and are still without rookie center Maria Vadeeva, who remains overseas. Lavender was an All Star in 2015 and won the Sixth Woman of the Year Award in 2016, playing a pivotal role in the Sparks 2016 WNBA Championship run. She’s averaged 9.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in her seven-year WNBA career.

In a corresponding move, Los Angeles waived guard Karlie Samuelson who was signed by the Sparks on May 19 as a replacement player under the hardship cap exception. In four games, Samuelson averaged 3.5 points per game and shot 40 percent from 3-point range.

Los Angeles now has 11 players on their roster and 10 on the active roster. The Sparks host the Minnesota Lynx Sunday June 3 at 2 p.m. PST at the Staples Center.


Founded in 1996, the Los Angeles Sparks have won three WNBA Championships (2001, 2002, 2016), and remain the only active team in the league to have won back-to-back titles and have qualified for the playoffs in 16 of their 20 seasons. Led by an ownership group led by five-time NBA Champion Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Mark Walter, the Los Angeles Sparks are dedicated to ensuring each home game at Staples Center has a championship level entertainment experience, while showcasing the best female athletes from around the world on the court. The team plays their regular season annually from May through September.