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Dearica Hamby - Mom and Athlete

By Mia Sabino

Edited by: Gabrielle Nordstrom

(photo courtesy of CNN)

Dearica Hamby, a 2x NBA all star and 2022 WNBA champion, has been the talk of the WNBA after the league finished the investigation of Hamby claiming that the Aces mishandled her pregnancy last season. The league announced that the Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon will be suspended for two games without pay and they will be rescinding the first round draft pick of the Aces’ in the 2024 WNBA draft.

Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon denies these allegations and there are indeed two sides to every story. Despite all the drama surrounding this issue, it would be a breath of fresh air if we look at this issue through a different view — by acknowledging the fact that Dearica Hamby is now playing for the Los Angeles Sparks after giving birth last March of 2023.

When Hamby met with the media a few days before the Sparks season opener against the Phoenix Mercury, she mentioned that her doctors cleared her for physical activity by April, a month after giving birth to her son. For context, recovery after giving birth can range from 6-8 weeks or up to even a year. It is remarkable that she is already able to play high-level basketball at the national level.

The six-foot-three forward would have been eligible for paid maternity leave with the whole amount on her deal for the entire 2022 WNBA season, instead she chose to work alongside coaches and personal trainers of the Las Vegas Aces.

(photo courtesy of LA Sparks Instagram)

When asked why she chose to continue working out instead of paid maternity leave, she said “because I’m capable”. While she is still slowly recovering to her physical best shape, it’s important to acknowledge and respect how Hamby has become a role model to all the women out there, that they are strong and capable of facing whatever is out there.

No one seems to be acknowledging enough how hard childbirth is and how hard a toll it can be on your body physically and mentally. It is empowering and inspiring to see Hamby work hard to go back to being the athlete she was and continue being the best mom to her daughter, Amaya and her son, Legend. Nothing can be achieved individually, and it is inspiring to see that her new found home in Los Angeles with the Sparks has been nothing short of supportive for Hamby.

In an interview, Hamby mentioned Los Angeles Sparks forward, Nneka Ogwumike, and how she’s been supportive of Hamby since the beginning and is one of the reasons why Hamby followed through with her trade to the Sparks. The management of the LA Sparks had high praises for Hamby as well. Karen Bryant, the general manager of the LA Sparks said in a virtual news conference “She is a world-class human, and she is very committed to the Sparks, she’s been openly public about that.”

With the start of the 27th season of the WNBA, Hamby played 15 minutes in the season opener against the Phoenix Mercury last May 19, 2023. She scored nine points, three rebounds and one assist. With how Hamby has chosen to handle her pregnancy and work as an athlete, it’s hard not to root for her as the season progresses.

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