March 12, 2021 

Nia Coffey to bring shooting and defense to the Sparks

Her previous familiarity with Trammell was one of the deciding factors in Coffey's choosing to sign with the Sparks

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Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) brings the ball up the court during a game between the Atlanta Dream and the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA on July 19, 2019. Photo Credit: Chris Poss

The Los Angeles Sparks continued their busy offseason with the recent signing of veteran wing Nia Coffey. Coffey spent last season with the Phoenix Mercury after having spent the previous year with the Atlanta Dream.

She was initially drafted by the then, San Antonio Stars with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 draft where current Sparks assistant coach Latricia Trammell was an assistant under Vickie Johnson, the current head coach of the Dallas Wings.

That previous familiarity with Trammell was one of the deciding factors in Coffey’s choosing to sign with the Sparks.

“That San Antonio season I learned a lot from Coach T. I really learned a lot as a rookie in general, but I learned a lot from her,” Coffey said on a call with media Wednesday morning. “And then just looking at the possibilities of reconnecting with her, getting the chance to play for her again. I definitely took that into consideration.”

Throughout her career, Coffey has been a decent wing defender and a pretty reliable shooter from three-point range. She’s a career 35.2 percent shooter from distance and she shot 33.3 percent last year with Phoenix.

During her second year in the WNBA with San Antonio in 2018, she shot a career-best 40 percent from deep. Coffey has been working on other parts of her game to become more than just a three-point shooter and she believes she can fit in well with the current Sparks roster.

“I think I just have to just show my versatility on both sides of the ball. Defensively, being able to show that I can guard multiple different positions and different players,” Coffey said. “Then on the other side of the ball, just show how I’ve been adding to my game whether it’s post-ups, mid-range, or three-point shots, and being able to attack the basket.”

As a fairly young player in the league, one of the things Coffey is looking forward to is being able to soak up all the knowledge she can from the Sparks’ wealth of veteran leaders.

“Seeing our vets on this team with Nneka, Seimone, Chiney, and [Kristi] Toliver, just looking forward to having that same experience,” Coffey said. “I see what they bring to the game and want to learn from their experience and try to let what they’ve been through rub off on me because it can only get me better.”

Coffey’s addition brings the Sparks roster to 15 players, the maximum they’re allowed to bring to training camp, and three over the maximum of 12 they’re allowed to carry into the regular season.

Written by David Yapkowitz

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