Derekah Hamby was traded from Las Vegas Aces to me Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday, then alleged that her former organization treated her in an “unprofessional, unethical manner…that was distressing” over her pregnancy.
“Trading is part of the job,” Hamby said. In a statement posted to Instagram. “Lying, intimidating, manipulating and discriminating is not.”
The Aces sent Hamby, an integral member of the 2022 WNBA Championship Team, and a 2024 first-round pick to the Sparks in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick and negotiating rights to advance Amanda Zahoe b. The trade comes after Hamby — who has spent her entire career with the Las Vegas Aces/San Antonio Stars organization — signed a two-year contract with the Aces in June.
Hours after the deal was announced, Hamby made allegations against her former team in a statement posted to her Instagram.
Hamby, who announced during the Aces victory parade that she was expecting her second child, said in the statement that she plans to play the 2023 season and expressed this to the Aces. Although she was training with the staff during her pregnancy, she said she was told she “didn’t take my training seriously” and that the Aces staff told her they “[didn’t] You see, she will be ready to return.
“My character and work ethic have been attacked,” Hamby’s statement read. “I was promised things to entice me into signing an extension to my contract which was not followed through. I was accused of knowingly signing an extension of my pregnancy. This is wrong. I was told I was a ‘question mark’ and that it was said I said I would get pregnant again and there was concern about my level of commitment to the team. It was said.” Lee “didn’t cut my end of the bargain” (because “no one expected me to get pregnant in the next two years”).
‘Did the team expect me to promise not to get pregnant in return for a contract extension? I was asked if I planned to get pregnant. When I answered ‘no’, I was then told that I hadn’t taken the necessary precautions not to get pregnant.’ I was being traded because I wasn’t going to be ready and we needed bodies.”
Hamby claimed, “Her honesty was met with coldness, disrespect, and disregard by members of the administration.”
“To be treated this way by an organization, by women who are mothers, who claim to ‘wear these shoes’, who preach family, chemistry and female empowerment is disappointing and leaves me sick to my stomach,” Hamby continued in her post on social media. For provisions that will finally support and protect gamer parents. This cannot now be used against me.”
As part of the new CBA enacted in 2020, WNBA players receive their entire salary while on maternity leave, in addition to a childcare salary. There is an exception to the maternity cap that allows teams to sign a replacement player at the applicable minimum if they do not have cap space.
The WNBPA issued a statement after Hamby’s participation, without specifying who it was, saying, “A member of our union has raised serious concerns regarding the conduct of members of Las Vegas Aces management. We will review this matter and seek a thorough investigation to ensure that her rights under the collective bargaining provisions of the 2008 Anti-Corruption Agreement were not violated.” 2020, as well as its rights and protections under state and federal law.”
The Aces did not respond to a request for comment from ESPN. The WNBA said it has no comment at this time.
Meanwhile, Hamby, a two-time sixth player of the year, expressed his excitement at joining the Sparks, Twitter“The best is yet to come! I look forward to being in LA and can’t wait to get back on the court.”
“Adding Derekah to our roster as well as a future first round selection was a solid step for us,” Sparks general manager Karen Bryant said in a statement. “We’re excited to get another major piece in place as we begin free agency.”
The Sparks — who have a new head coach in Kurt Miller and a GM in Bryant — have made some big moves across the trade already, bringing in a veteran guard Jasmine Thomas Earlier this week from Connecticut Sun.