Catching up with Shekinna Stricklen
After finishing her second season with the Storm, Shekinna Stricklen traveled to South Korea to compete with the Shinham Bank S-Birds in the WKBL.
Shekinna helped the Storm to a 17-17 record and a WNBA-record 10th consecutive playoff appearance. She averaged 10.0 points per game, rounding out the only starting five in the league that saw all five players average double-figures. Her 23.4 minutes per game and 41% from the field were career bests.
She is joined by Los Angeles Sparksí Alana Beard on the S-Birds and is one of four Seattle Storm players in Asia. Ashley Robinson and Noelle Quinn are both playing in the same league as Shekinna, and Lauren Jackson is in nearby China.
Shekinna recently spent time with StormBasketball.com to fill us in on her first two weeks in South Korea.
Q&A with Shekinna
Itís your first season in South Korea. Talk about the transition to living there? Tell me about their culture?
The transition has gone very well! I have a translator and we drive everywhere from practice or to the store together! I am well taking care of so I can just focus on playing ball. Their culture is a little different compared to ours but not much. They have American restaurants here!
How are you dealing with the language barrier?
I have a translator who is always helping. Even during practice she is right there with me. But the language is very hard to speak. I am having trouble just learning how to say Hello in Korean.
What improvements to your game are you focusing on?
I am really focusing on getting my body stronger and in better shape. On the court, I am focusing a lot on my defense and being more aggressive on offense getting to the basket.
How has preseason training and practice gone for you? When is your first game?
Preseason training and practice are both going well! It's a big adjustment practicing twice a day for three hours each and we are running literally the whole practice, but I'm not complaining because it's helping me to get in great shape. On top of that, we lift 3 to 4 times a week. Our first game is Nov. 10 against Noelle Quinnís team!
Note: Noelle Quinn plays for Woori Hansae, another team in South Koreaís WKBL. See more offseason updates.
Why did you choose South Korea?
Honestly they chose me. I got drafted here. I had heard that it is a great league and can see why. Itís overall very organized organization.
How has it been being teammates with Alana Beard (Los Angeles Sparks)?
It's been great! Just being able to get to know her and learn from her is amazing.
Youíre playing in the same league as Ashley Robinson and Noelle Quinn. Excited to see them? Any added competition between your teams because of that?
Yes I am very excited about getting to play against Arob and Noey! The person that wins will have bragging rights but I am just really excited I will get to see them!
Are the apartments different than what you had in Seattle?
I live in apartment and I really like it! It is very similar to what we have in the US and it makes me feel like I'm still in United States!
Favorite thing youíve done off the court so far?
I have visited Seoul twice off the court. Iím excited because I might get to go to Japan for a few days soon!