Franchise Inks Russian Free Agent Post Player To Add Depth To Frontcourt

Detroit Shock Sign 6’5’’ Center Irina Osipova

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - February 9, 2005 - Detroit Shock Head Coach Bill Laimbeer announced today that the franchise has added 6-5 center Irina Osipova to the roster. Osipova, 23, won a Bronze Medal in the 2004 Olympic Games with Russia. She is currently playing in her first professional season outside of Russia, averaging 11.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks in 12 games while shooting 52.8% from the field for Elitzur Ramla in Israel's first division.

“We feel very fortunate to have signed a player of Irina’s caliber. With her joining our team, our frontcourt depth is tremendous,” Laimbeer said. “In addition, her athleticism and speed fit perfectly with our style of play.”

Osipova has a wealth of experience playing with and against WNBA players. Prior to Israel, she played two seasons with UMMC Ekaterinburg, competing with WNBA stars Yolanda Griffith, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Andrea Stinson, Tameka Dixon, Lauren Jackson, Ticha Penecheiro, Natalie Williams, Svetlana Abrosimova, Elena Baranova and Sheryl Swoopes. In 2003-2004, she played in 39 games, averaging 9.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in 29.2 minutes. In 2002-2003, she helped lead UMMC to the FIBA Euroleague Championship, averaging 9.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in 24.3 minutes. In 2001-2002, she competed with Dynamo Moscow in both the Russian league and the Ronchetti Cup (FIBA), averaging 15.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 27.5 minutes in 61 total games.

“I am happy to play for a team like Detroit in the WNBA,” Osipova said. “They have a great coach who can help my game and there are great players like Swin Cash. I look forward to this season.”