January 3, 2023
Inside the revamped Los Angeles Sparks front office
Veteran Bryant, up-and-comer Horowitz form executive team
After hiring Curt Miller, a two-time WNBA Coach of the Year, as a head coach last October, the Los Angeles Sparks announced that they hired Karen Bryant as a General Manager and Chief Administrative Officer for the team on Tuesday. The team also promoted Eli Horowitz, who had been serving as a Senior Director, Communications and Basketball Analytics, to Assistant General Manager.
Before joining the Sparks, Bryant had an extensive resume of serving executive roles for the ABL’s Seattle Reign, the Seattle Storm, Atavus Sports, and KB2 Sports. She also graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in communications.
Bryant worked as the Head Coach for the girls’ basketball team at Woodinville High School for four seasons and in project management before becoming a member of the now-defunct ABL in 1996.
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From 1996 to 1998, Bryant served as the director of Basketball Operations, an assistant general manager, and general manager for the now-defunct Seattle Reign.
Bryant performed duties in executive positions for the Seattle Storm from 1999 to 2014, which she joined 11 days after the franchise’s founding. During her successful 15-year tenure, she served as vice president for five years, Chief Operating Officer for six years, and President and Chief Executive Officer for the last seven years. The Storm built a championship culture with Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson as they won two WNBA titles in 2004 and 2010.
Bryant also worked as Chief Executive Officer for Atavus Sports, based in Seattle, from 2017 to 2020, according to her LinkedIn. She also co-founded KB2 Sports, a company that focuses on promoting women’s sports. This past year, Bryant joined the NWSL’s NJ/NY Gotham FC as a minority owner for the team.
Eric Holoman, owner and managing partner for the LA Sparks, said in a press release that Bryant’s experience would help the team succeed alongside Head Coach Miller and President Vanessa Shay, who joined the team last May.
“Karen Bryant is a talented and veteran sports executive with a track record of building successful organizations from top to bottom,” Holoman said. “Since joining the Sparks, she has established a bold vision and a strong foundation for long-term growth throughout the franchise. I’m confident her executive leadership, in partnership with Head Coach Curt Miller and President Vanessa Shay, will lead to sustainable success on and off the court.”
Horowitz, a Columbia University alumni, joined the Los Angeles Sparks in May 2018 as a Director of Public Relations and Communications. Last February, he was promoted to Senior Director of Basketball Analytics as he helped “support college and international scouting efforts, advised on player personnel, and managed the Sparks salary cap,” according to the press release.
Horowitz will enter his sixth season with the Sparks and contribute to the team’s basketball operations by overseeing player personnel, scouting, salary cap, and analytics.
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Bryant said that Horowitz “has been a great contributor to the Sparks for the past five seasons and is very deserving of the new opportunity.” She also added that “his knowledge of player personnel and analytics will be a valuable addition to our basketball operations team.”
Horowitz expressed appreciation to Bryant and Holoman for promoting him to the assistant general manager position and is delighted to contribute to the franchise’s new chapter.
The Los Angeles Sparks will hold a virtual press conference Wednesday for an introductory media availability as Bryant will join the team’s new head coach Miller.
For 2023 WNBA Free Agency, the period for teams to set qualifying offers and core designations takes place from January 11 to 20. Followed by negotiating period that will start on January 21, and teams can officially announce contracts and offer sheets on February 1.
Written by Aya Abdeen
Aya Abdeen is a student in sports journalism at Arizona State University and has been a contributing writer for The Next Hoops since December 2022. Her work has also appeared on AZPreps365.