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Dearica Hamby reacts to Aces’ penalties for workplace misconduct

Dearica Hamby was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks in January. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Dearica Hamby is ready to move forward from her claims of “unethical” treatment by the Las Vegas Aces in the wake of the penalties the WNBA handed down Tuesday to her former team.

Aces coach Becky Hammon was suspended for the first two games of the 2023 season for comments she made to Hamby about her pregnancy. The Aces traded Hamby to the Los Angeles Sparks in January, and she gave birth to a son named Legend in March.

The WNBA also rescinded the Aces’ 2025 first-round draft pick for promises of “impermissible benefits” made to Hamby during the negotiations for her contract extension in June 2022.

While the league announced the penalties Tuesday, Hamby had known about them since Monday, the 29-year-old forward said.

“I really don’t have much to say about it,” she said. “I want to move forward and focus on where I am today. I’m healthy, I’m happy. My son is healthy and I’m going to be playing basketball this season so I want to focus on moving forward, this part of it is over and me and the union will continue to explore my options.”

The WNBPA called the penalties issued to the Aces “far from appropriate” and pledged its continued support for Hamby as she “considers the league’s decision and explores all available remedies.”

Hamby helped the Aces to their first WNBA title in franchise history in September, then revealed her pregnancy to the public during their championship parade.

After her trade to the Sparks, though, Hamby claimed the Aces had “discriminated against” her due to her pregnancy. While she did not specify who in the Las Vegas front office had commented on her pregnancy, she said her commitment to the team was questioned.

“I was told that ‘I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain’ (because ‘no one expected me to get pregnant in the next two years’),” she wrote.

The WNBA investigated Hamby’s allegations and found Hammon had made comments to Hamby about her pregnancy in violation of the league’s Respect in the Workplace policies. The league did not provide details on the comments.

Still, despite the investigation, Hamby is focusing on “turning the motor back on for basketball.”

“I doubted myself for a little bit but I’m back,” Hamby said. “A woman’s body is incredible in general. I’m going to play and I told (Sparks coach) Curt (Miller) to hold me to the same standard you would if I was fully healthy or not recovering from pregnancy. I work hard and I think that will speak for itself.”

In a statement, the Aces said that they are “deeply disappointed” by the results of the league’s investigation. They also noted that the WNBA’s findings about Hammon “are inconsistent with what we know and love about her.”

Hammon is set to return from her two-game suspension for the Aces’ first home game of the season on May 27, when the team will hold its championship ring and banner-raising ceremony. They will be facing Hamby and the Los Angeles Sparks.