Sheryl Swoopes Excited To Help Shock Win

One of the most decorated and arguably the greatest women's basketball players of all time – Sheryl Swoopes – is coming to Tulsa.

After working out privately for the Shock coaching staff in early March, Swoopes, a four-time WNBA Champion and three-time MVP has signed with the Shock.

“We are very happy to have this opportunity to work with Sheryl Swoopes,” General Manager and Head Coach Nolan Richardson said. “We believe that she’s bringing her knowledge of the game and competitiveness to our team and I'm really looking forward to working with her.”

Swoopes is one of the most decorated players in the 15-year history of the WNBA. To go along with her four championships, Swoopes has been named the Most Valuable Player three times (2000, 2002, 2005) and Defensive Player of the Year on three occasions (2000, 2002, 2003). In addition to her accomplishments, Swoopes is excited about playing for Coach Richardson.

“Coach Richardson has a reputation of being a very tough coach,” Swoopes said. “Obviously like everybody else, I’ve heard about 40 Minutes of Hell and I think it’s going to be a challenge but it's one that I welcome and am excited about it.”

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After spending her first 10 seasons in Houston, Swoopes signed with Seattle in 2008 where she appeared in 29 games for the Storm. Three years removed from the league, she is anxious to get back on the hardwood, and she's ready to do it with Tulsa.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about me coming back, it’s about winning - it’s what I’ve done my entire career,” Swoopes said. “I’m excited and thrilled for the opportunity to come back and be a part of the WNBA again with the Shock.”

Swoopes joins a Shock team that holds re-signed Marion Jones earlier this off-season and holds the second and seventh overall picks in the 2011 WNBA Draft next month. Her experience winning no doubt adds a welcome edge to the Shock, who finished 6-28 in 2010. Additionally, she brings a veteran eye and intangible leadership skills to a young, developing Tulsa squad.

“With all of my experience and knowledge and everything that I’ve done over the years, hopefully I’ll be able to bring that to Tulsa and help the team win.”

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Swoopes expects challenges in Coach Richardson’s system but also anticipates a degree of freedom on both ends of the court which will amplify her skill set. She has high hopes that Coach Richardson will bring out the best in her and the entire Shock team in 2011.

“Her attitude towards the game and her ability to see the floor, those are thing that you can’t really teach,” Richardson said. “The thing I noticed was how hard she was competing in the drills. She really competed hard and I liked that.”

Tulsa tips off its season on Saturday, June 4 at 7 PM ET against the San Antonio Silver Stars.

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