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Hamby speaks out after trade, says league should hold Aces accountable

Updated February 1, 2023 - 10:39 pm

Dearica Hamby’s past few weeks have been emotional and painful.

The former Aces All-Star blasted the organization for how it handled her pregnancy shortly after being traded to the Los Angeles Sparks on Jan. 21.

Hamby wrote in a social media post that she was lied to, bullied, manipulated and discriminated against, saying the Aces accused her of signing her contract while knowing she was pregnant — a violation of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

“If that can happen to me, it can happen to anybody,” she said Wednesday at her introductory news conference with the Sparks.

Hamby spoke publicly for the first time since the controversial trade from the franchise with which she had spent her entire eight-year career. The two-time WNBA sixth player of the year addressed her statements on social media and the WNBA Players Association’s investigation into her exit from the Aces, and she was asked if she was considering taking legal action.

There’s “a process that has to happen,” Hamby said. “For now, I’m going to leave it at what I said in my statement, and the (Players Association) is doing their part right now, and then we’ll see.”

The Aces have made no statements about Hamby’s claims and have ignored requests for comment.

Hamby, the No. 6 overall pick by the San Antonio Stars in 2015, stated multiple times that she believes the league will hold the Aces organization and individuals accountable for her treatment. The two-time All-Star said she spoke up about her situation because she didn’t want other professional athletes who are mothers to end up in similar circumstances.

Hamby said she’s trying to move forward. She said she appreciated the Sparks organization, general manager Karen Bryant and coach Curt Miller for their empathy and understanding.

Bryant and Miller affirmed their commitment to supporting Hamby and her children before she spoke.

Despite her unceremonious exit, Hamby said she still loves Aces fans and her teammates. She said playing at Michelob Ultra Arena this upcoming season in a different uniform will be a pivotal moment in her life, and she thanked Aces fans for supporting her throughout her time with the team.

Hamby also said fans shouldn’t hold her exit against current players or new arrival Candace Parker, and wants them to continue rooting for her former teammates. She said she hopes people remember her time in Las Vegas for her hard work on the court and the sacrifice that defined her time with the team, not her departure.

“I came to work every day,” Hamby said. “I did my job.”

Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournla.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.

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