Bria Holmes is from Connecticut, born and raised in New Haven, and for the past two seasons played for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.

But on Monday, she made it clear that she feels as though she’s found a home in L.A.

The 6-foot-3 guard – who characterizes herself as athletic, versatile and defensive-minded – signed last week with the Sparks, with whom she believes she’s found the right fit.

“My whole family’s here in Connecticut,” Holmes, 26, said during an introductory video conference. “So for me to be from here, and be able to play for my home state, it was a blessing, it was a great experience, but unfortunately it didn’t work out in Connecticut for me. So it was time for me to move on after just two years.

“I wanted to be somewhere and go somewhere where I was able to fit in,” she added. “I feel like these last couple of years, I haven’t really got the opportunity to showcase my talent and show what I can actually do on defense, as well as on offense. So just being able to have this opportunity, I feel like it’s a great situation for me going forward.”

The Atlanta Dream drafted Holmes 11th overall in 2016 after she played four seasons at West Virginia, where she scored 2,001 points. In four WNBA seasons split between Atlanta and Connecticut, Holmes has career averages of 6.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

Holmes said Monday that her conversations with Derek Fisher, the Sparks’ coach and general manager, made her believe she’ll be able to unlock previously untapped potential in L.A.

“He believes in me and that’s the first step for me, somebody to believe in me,” said Holmes, whose playoff experience includes appearances in all eight playoff games as the Sun made a trip to the 2019 WNBA Finals – a run that included a three-game semifinal sweep of the Sparks.

“I don’t think I had that, so like for somebody to believe in me and give me an opportunity and say, ‘Here you go,’ that was big for me, that’s what kind of sold me a lot, just having the faith, just believing in me.”

Holmes said she expects her 2-year-old daughter, Diona – better known as “Baby D” – to take to L.A., too: “The palm trees, nice weather, she’s gonna love it.”

And Baby D’s mom – who was acquired by Connecticut ahead of the 2018 season, which she missed while she was pregnant – is every bit as enthusiastic about the idea of contributing to a Sparks’ defense whose 98.8 defensive rating last season was third-best in the WNBA.

“I take pride in my defense,” Holmes said. “Like, you score on me once, I feel like you can’t score me again, I’m not having it. That’s just who I am and that’s how I’ve always been since college. I’m just looking forward to starting a new journey and going to war with my teammates and coaching staff and trying to bring a championship back to L.A. again.”

The allure of an opportunity to play an important role in that pursuit was what ultimately drew her west, said Holmes, who missed the conclusion of the Sun’s 2020 season in the bubble after she sustained a torn meniscus in her right knee 18 games into the season.

“It was great being home because I had all the support system, all my friends and family are from here, I had all the help with Baby D, so just having that alone, it was a lot,” Holmes said. “A lot played a part in my leaving, especially going as far as L.A., but like I said, I’m thankful for this opportunity and I think it’s just time for me to move on.”

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