By peoplestaff225
Updated May 13, 2009 06:00 PM
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It’s a girl for LA Sparks’ forward Candace Parker and husband Shelden Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves!

The WNBA star, 22, gave birth to a daughter today, Wednesday May 13th, at 11:29 a.m in Los Angeles. Baby girl weighed in at 7 lbs., 6 oz and 20″ long and is the first child for the couple, who eloped in November. “Shelden and I are thrilled,” says Candace. “We are very excited to be expanding our family. This is such a life changing moment for us, we feel blessed to have a healthy and beautiful baby girl.”

The couple do not wish to release their daughter’s name at this time, hoping to share with both sides of the family and close friends first.

The 6’4″ forward had an impressive 2008 — she won two Espy awards, and was named Rookie of the Year as well as Most Valuable Player, marking the first time in the WNBA’s 12 seasons that a rookie won MVP.

The “female Michael Jordan” as she’s referred by fans worldwide captured her first Olympic Gold Medal at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. Candace says she has no plans of slowing down and will continue to work out in preparation for the 2009 season, beginning June 6th. She may even take her bundle of joy along to the court. “The baby will be along for the ride, with me on trips, at the court,” Candace told ESPN Magazine. “You don’t hear about male players doing that, do you? Women, we just have to balance more things. It’s harder for us. That’s just the way it is.”

The couple announced the pregnancy in January. Candace says she plans to rejoin the Los Angeles Sparks once she receives clearance from her physician.

— Debra Lewis-Boothman