The Los Angeles Sparks already had a new championship banner in the rafters of the STAPLES Center when they received their rings on Friday, commemorating their 2016 WNBA Championship. But one key component of the championship team was not on hand for either ceremony, former Assistant Coach Amber Stocks.
Stocks spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Sparks and is now serving as General Manager and Head Coach of the Chicago Sky. Stocks previously worked with women’s basketball legend Pat Summitt from 2000-02 as a staff member at the University of Tennessee. She then spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Xavier and ended up coaching in eight post-seasons with Tennessee and Xavier.
MORE: Coach Bio – Amber Stocks
In addition to her collegiate coaching experience, Stocks has a strong coaching pedigree after coaching under Brian Agler, the only coach to win a WNBA Championship with two different teams, under Kevin McGuff at Xavier. Now with a WNBA Championship under her belt, her resume speaks for itself.
With the Sparks, Stocks handled scouting and game preparations and also coached the frontcourt, which included Candace Parker (Finals MVP), Nneka Ogwumike (WNBA MVP) and Jantel Lavender (2016 6th Woman).
There is plenty to work with when it comes to Chicago’s frontcourt. Through the first two games, forward Tamera Young is pacing the team in scoring and steals, while center Imani Boyette and forward Jessica Breland are tied for the team lead in rebounds. Young is also averaging 35 minutes a game, which is third in the WNBA.
The frontcourt also features center/forward Stefanie Dolson, a fourth year player from Connecticut, who is playing her first season with the Sky. Dolson is primed to be a key component in the Chicago frontcourt after starting both games since her trade to the Sky.
Stocks, who was named Defensive Player of the Year three times at Cincinnati, can also help to sure up the defensive side of the Sky. The team has led the league in scoring the past two seasons despite being second-to-last in points against.With a strong coaching pedigree and a talented frontcourt, her coaching specialty, Stocks is poised to lead the Sky to a successful first season.
All stats as of end of games on May 19, 2017.