Monday, March 10, 2008

Shock Re-Signs Ford, Nolan and Smith

Auburn Hills, MI – Detroit Shock Head Coach and General Manager Bill Laimbeer announced today that the team has re-signed three key members of its championship core – Cheryl Ford, Deanna Nolan and Katie Smith. Per team policy details of the contracts were not disclosed.

“We are elated that these three All-Stars have re-signed with the Shock,” said Laimbeer. “Coupled with the re-signing of Plenette Pierson, this once again makes us a formidable contender for the championship. It’s clear that Ford, Nolan and Smith enjoy playing together and want to continue their success together.”

Ford was the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2003 – the same year that the Shock went from worst-to-first and won the team’s first WNBA Championship. She earned All-WNBA honors in 2003 and 2006 and was also named to the All Defensive Second Team in 2006. In 2007, she added the Most Valuable Player Award from the WNBA All-Star Game to her trophy case. Ford is the leading rebounder in the history of the WNBA averaging 10.4 boards along with 11.4 points in her career. Over the past two seasons, she is averaging 13.6 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.

Nolan, a Flint native, has been with the Shock since the 2001 season, and is a three-time All-WNBA honoree. She also has three All-Defensive team selections to her credit, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 WNBA Finals. Nolan has averaged 12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game during her career while connecting on 35.0 percent of her three pointers over that span. In 2007, she led the Shock in scoring with 16.3 points per game.

Smith is the leading scorer in the history of women’s professional basketball, its most prolific three-point shooter and a four-time All-WNBA performer. The two-time Olympic gold medalist joined the Shock late in the 2005 season. She boasts career averages of 16.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists and is a career 36.2 percent shooter from three-point range. Smith was named to the WNBA All-Decade Team in 2006.