LA Sparks' Cameron Brink, Rickea Jackson throw first pitches -- and meet Shohei

May 21st, 2024

LOS ANGELES -- Over the last couple of weeks, the lives of Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson have changed forever.

The two WNBA stars were both drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks in the first round of the 2024 Draft. Brink was the No. 2 overall pick, while Jackson went two picks later. Last week, both players made their debuts.

On Monday, Brink and Jackson got another view of their new home in Los Angeles. They were both invited to throw out the first pitch prior to the Dodgers' 6-4 win over the D-backs at Dodger Stadium, in front of many of their new fans.

“For them to even want to bring us out, this means a lot,” Jackson said. “The support we’ve gotten from L.A., we’re just grateful to be here.”

Brink and Jackson may not have grown up playing baseball, but they spent their morning working on their pitching mechanics. When the two players entered the Dodgers’ clubhouse before the game, Brink even got advice from two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, who is married to a former professional basketball standout in Japan.

Dodgers outfielder Miguel Vargas caught Brink’s first pitch, which turned out to be right over the plate. Jackson, on the other hand, went wide to Dodgers pitcher Bobby Miller.

“She needs to be on the team,” Jackson joked about Brink’s first pitch.

The two Sparks stars' Dodger Stadium appearance comes as the WNBA continues to grow around the country. Popularity for women’s sports, particularly the WNBA, has never been higher. Brink and Jackson's collegiate careers helped play a role, as each became a standout player at Stanford and Tennessee, respectively.

“It’s been amazing,” Jackson said of the sport's current status. “I feel like it’s about time. It’s just going to keep growing, but I feel like I’m more happy for the vets, they’re the ones that deserve it all.”

In the meantime, the two WNBA stars enjoyed a well-deserved moment at Dodger Stadium.

“This is so special,” Brink said.