Sparks draft USC’s Forbes with 28th pick

The Los Angeles Sparks drafted Forbes from USC in the third round, while Brink and Jackson were selected in the first round of the 2024 WNBA Draft.

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles is known as the city of champions, and the Sparks, who have won three championships, are determined to transform their team into a winning one.

The WNBA Draft was a special one, featuring Caitlin Clark, who is now a member of the Indiana Fever and teammates with Aliyah Boston, last year’s No. 1 overall pick. In this draft, Los Angeles had the second, fourth and 28th pick.

They also selected Cameron Brink from Stanford and Rickea Jackson from Tennessee.

In the third round, the Sparks selected McKenzie Forbes from USC with the 28th pick. USC legend Cheryl Miller called the pick into calling into the draft.

The Sparks held a draft party at their headquarters, and many of the current players, including Lexie Brown, Rea Burrell and Zia Cooke, were in attendance.

Forbes spent one year playing alongside JuJu Watkins. Before joining the Trojans, she played for Harvard in the Ivy League.

She started her career in 2018-19 at Cal but transferred to Harvard. During her 35 games for USC, Forbes scored 14.3 points per game with 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists. She shot 38.4% from the field and 37.4% from the 3-point range.

Forbes is known for her toughness, 3-point shooting and leadership qualities. After losing Nneka Ogwumike and Jordin Canada, the Sparks are rebuilding with young talent and trying to reclaim their position at the top of the league.

Forbes will be moving into her new home arena down Figueroa Street. Sparks coach Curt Miller said he was excited about drafting Forbes.

“We are ecstatic that Forbes dropped,” he said. “We really love her game, her IQ, her ability to shoot.

“My long-time co-pilot went back to USC as her personal coach and Chris works with her. We followed her really closely.”

Miller is accustomed to building a team with post players like Brink and Forbes, as the Sparks have missed the playoffs for the past three seasons. Miller said he is thrilled about the competition once practice begins.

On Monday afternoon, Magic Johnson, one of the Sparks owners, took part in the draft party. Johnson acknowledged the draft class and the promise the new players bring.

“They will add some things to the team that we don’t have already,” he said.