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Final Roster Allocations, WNBA 1997
The fourth leg of the WNBA's 1997 roster stocking process consisted of the Final Roster Allocations which assigned two additional players to each of the original eight franchises. Future Shock players Rhonda Blades and Tara Williams were allocated to the New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury respectively.
The WNBA's championship series officially adopted the moniker WNBA Finals in the 2002 postseason. It was originally called the WNBA Championship. In 2005, the WNBA Finals moved from a best-two-out-of-three set up to its current best three-out-of-five format with the higher seed hosting games one, two and five.
The Shock have participated in three WNBA Finals, winning twice and losing once. The first win came in 2003 when they defeated the Los Angeles Sparks two games to one. The second came in 2006 when they defeated the Sacramento Monarchs three games to two. Their lone loss came in the 2007 title series as they fell to the Phoenix Mercury three games to two.
- 2002 WNBA Finals, Los Angeles defeats New York two games to none
- 2003 WNBA Finals, Detroit defeats Los Angeles two games to one
- 2004 WNBA Finals, Seattle defeats Connecticut two games to one
- 2005 WNBA Finals, Sacramento defeats Connecticut three games to one
- 2006 WNBA Finals, Detroit defeats Sacramento three games to two
- 2007 WNBA Finals, Phoenix defeats Detroit three games to two
Florida International University
Florida International University, established in 1965, launched its women’s basketball program for the 1974-75 collegiate season. Initially a Division II school, the Golden Panthers have advanced to a total of nine NCAA Tournament appearances, three as a Diviision II school and six after their move to Division I in 1987. Gergana Branzova played for Florida International and the Detroit Shock.
Florida, University of
The University of Florida, established in 1853, launched its women’s basketball program for the 1975-76 collegiate season. Over the years, the Gators have made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. Merlakia Jones played for Florida and the Detroit Shock.
She also earned All-WNBA Second Team honors in 2003 and 2006 and WNBA All-Defensive Second Team honors in 2006. Ford led the league in Rebounding in 2005 and 2006 and broke the league's single-season all-time rebounding record in the 2006 season. Ford was a key member of Detroit's 2003 and 2006 WNBA Championship teams.
In 2004, Ford teamed up with Chuncey Billups and John Salley to represent Detroit in the Shooting Stars competition at NBA All-Star. In the spring of 2008, Ford was nomiated for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award in the Favorite Female Athlete category. Other nominees were tennis stars Venus and Serena Willians and racecar driver Danica Patrick.
Free Agent Allocation, WNBA
In the first few years of the WNBA, players who were not drafted signed with the league as free agents as opposed to signing with individual teams. After the WNBA Draft, teams would submit to the league a list of players that they wanted to bring into training camp. The league then assigned players to teams based on need. This practice was ended after the 2002 season when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed and teams started signing players themselves to fit into a structured salary cap system. Through the Free Agent Allocation the Shock were assigned the following players:
- 1998: Lisa Ostrom, Sheneika Walker, Mfon Udoka, DeAngela Minter, Aneta Kausaite, Betsy Harris.
- 1999: Natasha Anderson, Laura Baker, Lesley Brown, Laurie Byrd, Claudia Maria das Neves, Latasha Dorsey, Oksana Zakaluzhnaya.
- 2000: Anna DeForge, Barbara Farris, Isatu Milton, Vicky Picott, Darla Simpson, Elena Tornikidou.
- 2001: Kacy Moffitt
- 2002: Mandi Carver, Jamie Cassidy, Abby Garchek Jaramillo, Begona Garcia, Jhudy Gonzalez, Carol Smith, Nikki Thompkins, Amy Wright.
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