LA Sparks trade away first-round pick for Gruda
Greetings, Token Female friends, and Happy Monday:
For everyone getting their scorecards ready for the WNBA Draft, here's a press release from the LA Sparks...similar to the type of trade that brought Swin Cash to the Chicago Sky.
Los Angeles Sparks Executive Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler today announced the team has acquired the
rights to and signed forward/center Sandrine Gruda from the Connecticut Sun in exchange for the Sparks 2014 WNBA first round draft pick (#11) and 2015 second round draft pick. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 6-4 veteran has played internationally since 2005, and in 2007 was drafted by the Connecticut Sun in the first round (13th overall) of the 2007 WNBA Draft. Gruda is currently playing in Russia with UMMC Ekaterinburg alongside Sparks forward/center and 2013 WNBA MVP Candace Parker.
Through 17 games in Russian Professional Basketball League (PBL) play, she leads UMMC in points (18.8 ppg) and is second on the team in rebounds (6.4 rpg), behind only Candace Parker (9.3 rpg). Last season, the Gruda/Parker duo led UMMC Ekaterinburg to the coveted 2014 Russian PBL Championship and the 2014 EuroLeague title.
“I am so happy to be with the Sparks and thankful to be back in the WNBA,” said Gruda. “I can’t wait to get to Los Angeles and wear the jersey I’ve been wanting to wear since I was a young girl. I am grateful that I get to continue playing with Candace, since I’m already with her here in Russia. It’s going to be a great season and I’m looking forward to being part of the Los Angeles Sparks. It’s a dream come true!”
“Sandrine is a great addition and will be a key piece going forward and into the 2014 season,” said Sparks forward/center Candace Parker. “I am excited for her to join the Sparks organization as she brings size, athleticism and adds another inside presence to the team. Sandrine and I have played alongside one another overseas for the past five years and have established a wonderful chemistry that I know will carry over into the WNBA.”
Gruda is a member of the French national team, and in 2009 led her team to the EuroBasket title. She also represented her home country and led France to quarterfinals appearances in both the 2006 World Championship and the 2007 EuroBasket.
“I am thrilled about Sandrine joining the Sparks family,” said Toler. “She is a powerful player who will not only add scoring power to our already solid offensive game, but will also bring in a solid defensive presence to dominate the boards alongside Nneka, Candace and Jantel.”