Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike dribbles the ball during...

Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike dribbles the ball during the second half of the team's WNBA basketball basketball game against the Dallas Wings in Arlington, Texas, June 14, 2023. Ogwumike is going to be wearing a new uniform next season as she has told the Sparks that she's going to leave in free agency. Ogwumike has played her entire 12-year career with the Sparks after being drafted No. 1 by the team in 2012. Credit: AP/LM Otero

Nneka Ogwumike is going to be wearing a new uniform next season as she has told the Los Angeles Sparks that she's going to leave in free agency.

Ogwumike has played her entire 12-year career with the Sparks after being drafted No. 1 by the team in 2012.

“I have SO much. So much love for this city that unconditionally embraced this Stanford kid 12 years ago,” Ogwumike posted on social media. “So much pride in being only a small piece of the legacy that is Championship City.”

Ogwumike closed her post saying “LA, I hope it's not goodbye, but ‘see you later.’”

She won a title with the Sparks in 2016 — the same year she won the league's MVP award.

“I want to thank Nneka Ogwumike for 12 incredible seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks," Sparks managing partner and governor Eric Holoman said in a statement. "Nneka has been a leader and changemaker for the Sparks, the city of Los Angeles, the WNBA, and women’s sports. From drafting her No. 1 in 2012, to her game-winning shot in the 2016 WNBA Finals, her 2016 MVP trophy, and so many special memories, her legacy is cemented as one of the greatest to ever wear Purple & Gold.”

ESPN first reported that Ogwumike was leaving.

WNBA free agents could start negotiating with teams this past Sunday and can sign starting on Feb. 1.

Ogwumike averaged 19.1 points and 8.8 rebounds last season as the Sparks missed the playoffs after finishing 17-23. She's been a leader of the franchise as well as the president of the WNBA players association.

She will turn 34 in July and helped the team make the playoffs in her first nine seasons. The Sparks have had six coaches in her 12 years with the franchise, including current one Curt Miller.

With the knowledge that Ogwumike will play elsewhere this season, the Sparks now can turn their attention to rebuilding the franchise. Los Angeles has a lot of room for free agents as the franchise has only a handful of players under contract for next season.

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