Jordin Canada Career-Year Providing Spark for LA

Canada Making Case for Most Improved Player & All-Defensive Team

She is having the best year of her WNBA career.

Jordin Canada is averaging career-highs in scoring, assists, three point shooting, field goal percentage, minutes per game, rebounds and steals. She has arrived onto the national scene. No surprise to LA locals, it wasn’t a matter of if, but when, Canada would arrive. Her play has come at the right time, as the Sparks have won seven out of their last 10 games, including their first five-game winning streak since the 2020 season.

A recent win coming as Canada led the Sparks to a 78-72 victory over Las Vegas Aces on the road, handing them their first home loss since July 19, 2022. Canada had 20 points and knocked down four three-pointers with three rebounds and three assists. She amassed 1,500 career points. It was the first time the Sparks defeated the Aces since Aug. 1, 2019.

Against the Indiana Fever in late July, Canada turned the corner at the top of the three-point line with the Sparks down two and under six seconds to play. She caught the ball and took three dribbles, then pulled up over the top of the outstretched arms of Erica Wheeler. Cool as a cucumber, the Most Improved Player candidate knocked down the game-winning bucket. In front of an anxious Arena crowd, they exploded in jubilation as the Sparks stole victory from the hands of the Fever.

ESPNW posted the replay on social media.

The Los Angeles native has been dominating at every level in this city since she was a teenager. Canada played at Windward School where she was the top ranked point guard in the class of 2014. She won a state title in 2011, playing for Sparks assistant coach Steve Smith, and won three CIF titles before being named a McDonald’s All-American. Seeing her now, Smith feels the magnitude of the full circle moment.

“I was there when Jordin was 13, 14 years old and I know how much this means to her doing everything in her hometown,” Smith said. “It’s one of the proudest moments of my life seeing someone that I am so close with, achieving her dreams, doing everything she wanted to here at home.”

With the world as her oyster, Canada chose to go just 5.5 miles away to play at Pauley Pavilion for the UCLA Bruins. From 2014-18, Canada was a member of the top recruiting class in the nation where she played under head coach Cori Close. In 2018, she led the Bruins to their first Elite Eight appearance since 1999 and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Five years later, Close believes the Sparks rising star is ready for one of the biggest individual accolades of her professional career.

“Jordin is an elite competitor and has always been about growth and improvement, and that is what I have seen in her throughout this entire WNBA season,” Close said. “I watch a lot of WNBA and I don’t think it’s even close, Jordin Canada is hands down my Most Improved Player.”

Canada currently averages 13.7 points per game, up from just 9.5 ppg in 2022, now ranks top five in the WNBA in assists at 6.0 per game and has more than doubled her three-point percentage from a year ago at 35.0 percent. That ranks as one the largest year over year increases in league history.

Not only has Canada been on an offensive tear, she’s also anchored a Sparks defense that currently ranks fourth in the WNBA in defensive rating. She’s second in the WNBA in steals per game at 2.0, and consistently guards the other teams best perimeter scorer.

In true Canada fashion, she is putting up career numbers just 13.4 miles from UCLA at Arena, the Sparks’ homecourt. Just as Close knew her former college star was bound for greatness, so too does Canada’s current head coach, Curt Miller.

“She’s a great player, making great plays, even if it’s not diagrammed that way,” Miller said, “Jordin’s having a career year, she dominates the ball with her dribble off of transition and she creates tempo (offensively).”

Canada recently recorded 800 career assists and 400 career rebounds against the Atlanta Dream. In that same game, she had 20 points, eight assists and three steals. As a point guard, it is in her DNA to place her teammates above herself, even as she accomplishes so much individually.

“I am creating for them, that’s my job as a point guard, but that is also my identity and what I love to do,” Canada said. “I am thankful for these guys making baskets because I couldn’t do it without them.”

As the Sparks build momentum on a five game win streak, the team’s starting point guard continues providing that same creative Spark because Smith says it best.

“She loves LA to her core.”