Tulsa Shock and Bill Laimbeer

I hope you will get a chance to catch a WNBA game at the BOK Center!

Welcome back. Known as a thug in his chosen profession yet loved by many of his fans, at 6’11” and 245 pounds he goes his own way in life and says what he thinks. A two time NBA champion, elected to the NBA All Star team four times and the all-around rebounding champion in 1986 with his number four jersey retired, Bill Laimbeer has done just about everything in the sport of basketball. Bill, as fans call him, was in Tulsa Friday night coaching his WNBA New York Liberty team against the Tulsa Shock.

If you don’t know about professional women’s basketball in Tulsa, its great fun and with the Shock on a winning streak it’s starting to catch on around here. Home games are played at the BOK Center where I found plenty of parking close to the facility and a welcoming staff ready to get you where you needed to go and bring you whatever you wanted. As soon as I entered the building I knew I was in for a good time. The hallways were packed with kids’ games and inflatables, there was live music playing and plenty of food vendors on hand for very taste.  On the court a variety of acts kept the crowd entertained until tip-off when things got serious.

The Tulsa Shock is out to win a championship and after watching them demolish big bad Bill’s Liberty team I think they might just do it. For you true basketball junkies, some of the names on this team may sound familiar. At center is the first ever four time Associated Press All American from the University of Oklahoma, Courtney Paris. Courtney is leading the league in rebounding for the second year in a row and watching her is worth the price of a ticket alone.

At guard from Notre Dame where she set records in scoring and steals as well as assists, Skylar Diggins is already a legend and thanks to her Tulsa leads the league in three point shooting. Fan favorite Jordan Hopper had the crowd going with her long range three point shots and 5’7” Riquna Williams, who holds the WNBA record for the most points scored in a game (51), is quick and fearless, no matter how big her opponent is. Helping Courtney with rebounding is 6’5” Amanda Zahul B. from Stockholm, Sweden who is also a great shot. Rounding out this explosive team are the other outstanding players, Odyssey Sims, Brianna Kiesel, Jessica Kuster, Tiffany Jackson Jones, Karima Christmas, Theresa Plaisance, Vicki Baugh, Glory Johnson-Griner and last but not least, Plenette Pierson. Pierson is another fan favorite and a personal favorite of mine.  A thirteen year veteran, this 6’2” Texas Tech graduate has seen it all. Signed as a free agent, she is second in minutes played, second in rebounding and third in points scored per game for the team. With her years of experience, Pierson brings depth to the Shock and her energy seems boundless.

I’ll end this leg of my column with my scoop of the week: Shock President Steve Swetoha and head coach Fred Williams have something special going on this year. If you are looking for some great entertainment at reasonable prices you need to check out a Shock’s game.

Another highlight of my week was Thursday evening which I spent on the top floors of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower at Copper Restaurant and the Inn at Price Tower. I was joined by many friends and readers for a pre-publication gathering for my book Footprints in the Dew. Several of the guests remembered watching the Price Tower as it was built and seeing the furniture being hoisted through the windows. I was lucky enough to spend the night in the Penthouse Suite which offers every creature comfort and some amazing views of Bartlesville.

Pre-publication book orders were brisk and I appreciate everyone’s support. For more information about the Shock visit their website www.shock.wnba.com . If you are interested in the book check out www.originalbuffalodale.com

Till next week I’ll see ya down the road….