Sky Signs Forward Shyra Ely

CHICAGO, January 12, 2009 – Chicago Sky Head Coach and General Manager Steven Key announced today that the team has signed 6’2”forward Shyra Ely through the 2010 season. Per team policy, terms of the contracts have not been released.

Ely, a restricted free agent with the Seattle Storm, played in all 34 games of the 2008 season. She averaged 3.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game. Ely had a career high 16 points and a season high two three-pointers in the September 14th game at Los Angeles.

“We are very happy and excited to have Shyra here in Chicago. She will bring not just experience, but play-off experience. She is coming from the Seattle Storm and San Antonio Silver Stars, both of which are winning programs where she gained valuable knowledge from some of the best players in the league,” said Steven Key. “Her versatility will prove to be a major addition to the team. She has the unique ability to play both small forward and power forward positions, giving us an opportunity to take advantage of her size in the post against smaller players as well as take on bigger players. I know Shyra to be a hard-worker, good teammate and competitor every time she steps on the court. We will be counting on her to continue to grow as a player for years to come with the Sky.”

Ely was drafted by the San Antonio Silver Stars in the second round (14th overall) of the 2005 WNBA Draft. She played in 31 games and started 11 games averaging 4.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game in her rookie season. She ranked fifth among rookies in minutes per game (16.5), sixth in scoring (4.5) and ninth in rebounding (2.0). Ely was one of only four rookies in 2005 to rank among the top 10 in scoring, rebounding, and assists. Ely signed with Seattle in 2007.

Ely had a standout college career at Tennessee shooting .478 from the field along with 12 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Ely was named 2004 Kodak All-American, 2004 NCAA All-Midwest Regional Team, 2005 AP All-American Honorable Mention selection, All-SEC First Team, and SEC Tournament MVP. Her 1,673 career points rank ninth on the Lady Vols all-time scoring list and 940 career rebounds is the sixth best in Tennessee history. Following her senior year in high school, Shyra was named the 2001 Naismith Prep Player of the Year and the USA Today National Player of the Year.