Practice canceled due to illness
BY LYNN JACOBSEN World Sports Writer
Friday, June 25, 2010
6/25/10 at 6:04 AM
The Tulsa Shock canceled practice Thursday as the team's medical personnel attempted to find the source of a staph infection that has affected four players.
The Shock plays the New York Liberty at 7 p.m. Friday at the BOK Center, and coach Nolan Richardson said three members of the team who were diagnosed with the infection have been cleared to play — Amber Holt, Chante Black and Marion Jones. Guard Shanna Crossley was hospitalized this week and is undergoing antibiotic treatments at home. She could miss as many as 8-10 days, Richardson said.
The team, including coaches Wayne Stehlik, Tammy Bagby and Richardson, received nasal swabs Thursday in an attempt to determine who might have the infection.
Staph infection, or staphylococcus, "is classified as a group of bacteria that can cause a multitude of diseases as a result of infection of various tissues of the body," according to MedicineNet.com. Illness can range from mild and requiring no treatment to severe and potentially fatal, according to the web site.
"Hopefully, they can determine the source and if someone is the carrier," Richardson said. "Amber was the first to have it."
Richardson said doctors were able to treat Holt effectively before the staph infection became a problem that forced her to miss games.
But, "unfortunately, they couldn't for Shanna," Richardson said. Black and Jones "didn't have it as severe," he said.
Richardson said the team had a crash course about staph infections Thursday.
"We had hand sanitizer on the bench during Wednesday's game (at Atlanta)," Richardson said. "Everyone was using it. We're taking all the precautions that we can, because it can become an epidemic."
Shock president Steve Swetoha agreed with Richardson that all precautions are being taken.
"Our basketball operations staff and medical personnel is doing everything it can to monitor the situation," Swetoha said. "It's something we are taking very seriously. We hope to get it controlled quickly. All the players are currently on antibiotics as a precaution. The league is aware of the situation."
The World's attempts to reach officials at the WNBA headquarters were unsuccessful Thursday evening.
Richardson said Crossley is the only player who currently has an infection, and all other team members have been cleared by the Shock's medical staff to play.
Through this process, Tulsa (3-9) also is searching for a way to end a six-game losing streak. The Shock put together its most complete game in a 96-90 loss at Atlanta on Wednesday.
"It was our best game," Richardson said. "Everyone played well. Everyone played hard."
There was no letdown to start the second half as had been the case in previous losses, but Tulsa's inability to hit a shot in the waning minutes resulted in its ninth loss overall.
"It all comes down to hitting shots," Richardson said.
Regarding the team's bout with staph, Richardson said, "We're just trying to weather the storm. I've weathered many, many storms in my lifetime, but nothing like this. But I have to. We have to as a team."
Vs. New York
7 p.m. Friday
Out Cancer Night.
The first 2,000
fans will receive
a first aid kit. The
first 5,000 will
receive a Live
bracelet. It’s also
the first of two
Kids Get in Free
games. Any child
16 and under gets
in free with a paid
What is a staph infection?
Staphylococcus is a
group of bacteria that can
cause a multitude of diseases
as a result of infection
of various tissues of
the body. Staphylococcus
is more familiarly known
as Staph (pronounced
illness can range from
mild and requiring no
treatment to severe and
Anyone can develop a
Staph infection, although
certain groups of people
are at greater risk, including
breastfeeding women and
people with chronic conditions
such as diabetes,
cancer, vascular disease
and lung disease.
Lynn Jacobsen 581-8461