As a member of the Sparks since 2016, Chelsea Gray has solidified herself as one of the premier players on a star-studded 2019 Los Angeles Sparks roster. Gray, a guard from Duke by way of Hayward, California, is an everyday starter for the Sparks since 2017 and has been dominant to start the 2019 season. After playing one season for the Connecticut Sun in 2016, Gray was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks, and has made the most of the opportunity to prove herself in the WNBA.
Coming off her second consecutive All-Star selection as a member of the Sparks, Gray entered free agency to begin the 2019 WNBA year. On April 30th, well into the free agency period, Gray elected to re-sign with the Sparks. When asked about Chelsea’s impact to the court, General Manager Penny Toler called her “one of the best point guards in the WNBA.”
“One of the best point guards in the WNBA.” -Sparks General Manager Penny Toler
Her play has not only been successful in the WNBA, but also overseas in Turkey. Gray led Cukurova Mersin of the Turkish Women’s Basketball League to a 23-3 record, en route to being named the top seed of the Turkish League playoffs. Gray led the team in scoring during the playoffs, leading Cukurova to the Turkish League Finals against powerhouse Fenerbache. Though falling in the finals, Gray’s impact on the series was certainly felt, as she scored 41 points in Cukurova’s sole win in the finals.
Coming off of a successful trip to Turkey, Gray looked to continue her dominant play into the 2019 WNBA season and make an immediate impact to the Sparks, who were coming off of a second-round loss to the Washington Mystics in the 2018 WNBA Playoffs. Even though she missed most of training camp and both preseason games to begin the WNBA season due to her overseas commitments, Gray has not missed a beat. Gray has begun the 2019 campaign averaging 15.6 points per game and 4.4 assists, leading the Sparks, who are without reigning WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Alana Beard and two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker, who are both sidelined with injuries to begin the season. Already in 2019, Gray has achieved her career high in points with 29 against the New York Liberty on June 4th, while also tallying her 500th career assist in the same game.
In addition to her high scoring numbers, Gray has also been more efficient in her shot selection to begin the year. On June 8th, Gray and the Sparks defeated the Minnesota Lynx 89-85, where Gray shot 75% from the field, scoring 21 points in the process. Los Angeles faced off against Minnesota in their first matchup since the Sparks eliminated the Lynx in the first round of the 2018 WNBA Playoffs.
Gray is on pace to achieve a few more milestones in her career this season, as she is 22 rebounds away from achieving 400 career total rebounds and 17 more made 3-pointers away from reaching 150 made in her career.