Sparks Sign Chinese Guard Yang Liwei

LOS ANGELES (February 19, 2023) – The Los Angeles Sparks announced today the signing of Chinese guard Yang Liwei. She becomes the second Chinese-born player to suit up for the Sparks, joining Zheng Haixia, who was drafted by the Sparks in 1997.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to bring Li to LA,” said Sparks CAO & GM Karen Bryant. “She adds quickness, athleticism and international experience to our current roster.”

Yang most recently participated in the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup, where she played in eight games, holding averages of 9.3 points, 3.9 assists and 1.6 rebounds. She helped lead her team to a silver medal finish shooting 46.5% from the field and 50.0% from beyond the arc. 

“Liwei is an outstanding and respected international guard with big game experience,” said Head Coach Curt Miller. “She will bring us tremendous energy and enthusiasm on the court.  She is a terrific leader on the Chinese National Team and we look forward to that leadership impacting our locker room.”

In her most recent season with Inner Mongolia, the four-time WCBA All-Star averaged 13.5 points, 5.2 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 19 games. During those 19 games she also shot a career-best 61.4% from the field, including 40.4% from deep and 81.1% from the free throw line. Prior to her time at Inner Mongolia, Yang played 10 seasons in Guangdong, including two seasons with Nneka Ogwumike in 2014 and 2019.

“I am so excited to join the LA Sparks this season,” said Yang. “I am ready to fight for my team and my teammates.”


Founded in 1996, the Los Angeles Sparks are one of three original franchises in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Sparks have won three WNBA Championships (2001, 2002, 2016), have qualified for the playoffs in 20 of their 26 seasons and remain the only active team in the league to win back-to-back titles. The Los Angeles Sparks are dedicated to ensuring each home game at Arena has a championship level entertainment experience while showcasing the best female athletes from around the world on the court. LA Sparks 2023 season tickets are available here for purchase.