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LA Sparks hire former USC coach Henry Bibby
By RYAN PEARSON, Associated Press Writer
April 7, 2005

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Sparks hired Henry Bibby as head coach, giving him a new start in Southern California less than a year after he was fired from USC.

Sparks general manager Penny Toler said the team wanted someone without WNBA experience.

``It's LA. We want something new and we want something fresh,'' she said Thursday. ``He has a confidence that can lead this team, because we have a lot of big, strong personalities on this team.''

Bibby, hired Wednesday, got a two-year deal but terms weren't disclosed. The former NBA player and father of Sacramento Kings guard Mike Bibby was fired four games into last season after two losing seasons in a row.

He led USC for eight seasons, including 2000-01, when the team went 24-10 and made it to the regional final in the NCAA tournament. His overall record at the school was 131-111.

``I'm excited to be the coach and I'm happy to be in a position where I am wanted and where basketball comes first,'' Bibby said in a statement.

The team is centered around Lisa Leslie, the WNBA's Most Valuable Player last season after she led the league in rebounds (9.9) and blocked shots (2.88) and finished third in scoring (17.6).

Last month, the team traded forward DeLisha Milton-Jones for three-time All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw, who averaged 18.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in six seasons with the Washington Mystics.

``We feel we have a championship team, and we wanted to put somebody in that's been there and done that,'' Toler said. ``I like his style, because his style even at 'SC was race up and down the floor, a fast-breaking team.''

Sparks coach Michael Cooper resigned last July to become a Denver Nuggets assistant. The team was led by interim coaches Karleen Thompson and Ryan Weisenberg through last season, finishing 25-9 but losing to Sacramento in the first round of the playoffs.

Beware of Elbows
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Women's basketball? Women have a professional sport? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Just kidding. :biggrin:
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