Sheri Sam is Fever’s Newest Star

News Release | January 8, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever added veteran scorer Sheri Sam to its roster Monday, selecting the former All-Star with the ninth choice in the Women’s National Basketball Association Dispersal Draft. Each of the WNBA’s 13 remaining teams had a draft pick from among the remaining players whose rights were retained by the disbanded Charlotte Sting franchise.

Sheri Sam is 13th (3,097) among WNBA career scoring leaders, just ahead of new Fever teammate Tamika Catchings, 21st (2,855). Sam also is 13th (665) all-time in assists, with Catchings 18th (609). Among total steals leaders, Catchings is 7th (417), followed by Sam, 9th (390) and Tully Bevilaqua, 17th (317).
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An athletic 6-foot guard/forward, Sam gives the Fever another scoring threat that can play inside or outside similar to current Indiana star Tamika Catchings. The Sting’s third-leading scorer, Sam averaged 10.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for Charlotte in 2006. Her 1.62 steals per game were 11th in the WNBA, which was led by new Fever teammates Catchings (2.94) and Tully Bevilaqua (2.09).

Sam has established herself among the top scorers in league history. Her 3,097 points are currently 13th all-time. She also is 13th in WNBA history with 665 assists, and ninth with 390 steals – ranking near Catchings in each category.

“I am very excited that we acquired Sheri Sam,” said Fever Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Kelly Krauskopf. "She is a veteran player and a proven scorer. There were times last year that we had trouble scoring and by adding Sheri we have another solid perimeter scoring threat. She has also won a WNBA Championship and knows what it takes to win a title. There’s no question we improved our team today by adding Sam.”

Added Sam while speaking from Turkey, “I’m still smiling. If I had to choose a team to go to, this was definitely one of my top two choices. It’s a top organization and I am looking forward to getting back to the playoffs – and having another chance at a championship.”

When asked about playing alongside Catchings, instead of against her, she replied, “Like I told Kelly, I’ve guarded Catch her whole WNBA career! I am looking forward to playing on her side, and watching someone else have to guard her. From everything I have ever heard from her teammates, she is just a great person and teammate. She is a leader, and someone that everyone wants to play with.”

A member of the 2002 WNBA All-Star Team, Sam has missed just one game through eight WNBA seasons, and has started in 250 of the 263 games she has played.

A product of Vanderbilt University, she played three seasons in the American Basketball League before being drafted by Orlando in the 1999 WNBA Draft. Sam started all 32 games as a rookie in Orlando, before becoming the all-time scoring leader during four seasons with the Miami Sol. Acquired with the second pick in the 2003 Dispersal Draft by Minnesota, she played 34 games for the Lynx before being traded to Seattle where she teamed with Bevilaqua as part of the Storm’s championship team of 2004. She signed a free agent contract with the Sting, and started 67 of 68 games with the Sting the past two seasons.

Currently, she is playing professionally in Istanbul, Turkey this winter, for Besiktas Cola Turka.