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Alana Beard to lead ownership group for proposed Oakland WNBA team


Alana Beard, a four-time WNBA All-Star, is set to lead a group of investors trying to bring a WNBA expansion team to Oakland.

She is partnering with the African American Sports and Entertainment Group, who issued the news on Wednesday.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity and excited to help bring a WNBA team to Oakland,” Beard said in a release. “The AASEG has done an incredible job of getting us to this point and has garnered tremendous support from influencers in the local community. I am hopeful our vision, passion and collective efforts will lead to the return of professional basketball to Oakland.”

A 15-year WNBA veteran, Beard last played with the Los Angeles Sparks, with whom she won a WNBA title in 2016. She announced her retirement in 2020.

Additionally, attorney Jada Smith-Williams and her law firm Bailey & Glasser, LLP, will run counsel and advise the group in their ownership pursuit.

The move comes following a July announcement in which the Board of Authority in Oakland voted unanimously to move forward with the process of a lease for Oakland Arena.

According to the release, Beard and the AASEG are in discussions with other prominent African Americans to join the process.

Additionally, the group has already written a letter to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and COO Christy Hedgpeth. In the letter, they highlighted the progress they have achieved, including the vote on allowing the team to play in Oakland Arena.