Women's basketball MVP and Olympian Sheryl Swoopes is returning to the game this year with the Tulsa Shock after sitting out for two seasons.
"I'm excited and thrilled for the opportunity to come back and be a part of the WNBA again with the Shock," Swoopes said in a statement Monday. "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."
Swoopes, who just turned 40, previously played for the Houston Comets, where she won four WNBA championships and was named league MVP in 2000, 2002, and 2005. In 2008 she signed with the Seattle Storm, where she played in 29 games before taking a break from the league to play overseas.
Her career average, starting with the inaugural WNBA season in 1997, is 15.8 points, 5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.2 steals per game, according to UPI.
“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.”
In 2005, Swoopes told The Advocate that she hoped her coming-out would "make a difference to a lot of people out there who want to come out and don't know how to do it or are afraid."
Last month the Shock re-signed former track and field star Marion Jones. The team also has the second and seventh picks in the first round of the 2011 league draft, coming in April.
In 2010 the Shock had a 6-28 record. Coach Nolan Richardson is hoping Swoopes's experience and leadership will benefit his young squad.