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Star returning to Los Angeles

The LA Sparks have announced the re-signing of last year’s top defender.

2017 WNBA Finals Game Three - Minnesota Lynx v Los Angeles Sparks Photos by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2017 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year is returning to sunny Los Angeles, as the Sparks have announced the re-signing of shooting guard Alana Beard. The four-time All-Star has been with the team for the past six seasons and has helped bring a championship to the city of LA.

After averaging 6.6 PPG this past season and leading the league in steals with 2.09 per game, Beard showed just how valuable she is to this Sparks squad.

“I don’t have enough great adjectives to describe Alana. Her leadership on and off the court is a key ingredient to our team success,” shared Penny Toler, Executive Vice President & General Manager of the LA Sparks. “She brings 100 percent effort to practice, games, and anything she does. It’s truly been an honor to work with such a classy player.”

Beard was the second overall pick in the 2004 draft and has since made huge plays in major post-season appearances, including her buzzer-beater in Game 1 of the 2016 WNBA Finals. With Beard’s return, the Sparks are yet again poised to make a deep run in this season’s playoffs and may be in contention for another championship.

“I am grateful for another opportunity to play the game I love and play alongside a special group of women,” said Beard.