TULSA, OK-It’s official.
Tulsa is now in the WNBA family.
As of next May the team that once was the Detroit Shock will make its home in the BOK Center, thus sending Tulsa back into the major league sports spotlight for the first time since the Tulsa Roughnecks played soccer at Skelly (now Chapman) Stadium. The sale and move of the team is pending approval from the WNBA board of governors.
WNBA President Donna Orender made the announcement at Tulsa’s historic Mayo Hotel Tuesday afternoon with team owners Bill Cameron and David Box and head coach Nolan Richardson at her side.
"The WNBA congratulates Bill and David," Orender said, "We are confident that with their business acumen, passion for the game and commitment to the community, the team will achieve great things in Tulsa." Also in attendance were Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor and Governor Brad Henry. The announcement caps off 3 years of work by Cameron and Box and their partners, and comes only days after they applied for the franchise.
Coach Richardson, who will also serve as the team’s general manager, was particularly excited during the ceremony. "It’s like I never left," he said referring to when he coached the TU Golden Hurricane to the NIT title in 1981. He has his focus on making Tulsa into a winning team and pledged that during his remarks. "In my locker room on the lockers will be a phrase that says ‘there are players who come here to play and there are players who come here to win’." Coach Richardson also won the NCAA title in 1994 as the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Richardson inherits a team formerly coached by former Detroit Piston Rick Mahorn that narrowly missed the WNBA finals, losing to the eventual runner-up Indiana Fever. The Shock won the WNBA title in 2003, 2006 and 2008. "we are thrilled to have such a strong championship pedigree in Tulsa, and we look forward to continuing the tradition of success that has been the Shock’s hallmark." Bill Cameron, lead investor and chairman of Tulsa Pro Hoops LLC said.
Season tickets are already on sale for the team, and they can be found and purchased at wnbatulsa.com. David Box indicated that the team’s name, colors and mascot will be chosen by the fans at a later time.