LA Sparks Looking for a Few Good Men - NBC Southern California

LA Sparks Looking for a Few Good Men

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    NEWSLETTERS

    LA Sparks Looking for a Few Good Men
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    (L-R) Lisa Leslie #9, Noelle Quinn #45 and DeLisha Milton-Jones #8 of the Los Angeles Sparks celebrate in the final moments of Game Two of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Mercury during the 2009 WNBA Playoffs at US Airways Center on August 21, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Sparks defeated the Mercury 87-76.

    The Los Angeles Sparks are looking for a few good men. At least for practice.

    The team will conduct tryouts Tuesday night at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo for men interested in playing on their new practice squad.

    "Our team plays against the best female athletes in the world all season long, so we are looking for a group of strong male players who can play great basketball and help us prepare for a run to the championship," Sparks coach Jennifer Gillom said.

    Women's college basketball teams have long had male students practice against them in an attempt to improve by facing players who are bigger, more physical and faster.

    The practice survived a 2007 attempt by the NCAA's Committee on Women's Athletics to ban it out of the belief that using male practice players decreases opportunities for women, who would be on the sidelines during practice while the men were practicing.

    The practice has spread to the WNBA, with the Phoenix Mercury also forming a male practice squad for this season.

    The tryouts will consist of a series of drills, conditioning and full- court scrimmaging. The seven-to-10 men chosen for the practice squad need to be available for at least one practice each week, generally held in the morning or evening, beginning the week of April 25 when the Sparks open training camp.

    The tryouts will be held from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday at the Toyota Sports Center.

    All those trying out will receive a ticket to the Sparks' May 28 home opener at Staples Center. Spectators will not be allowed at the tryouts under facility regulations.