Popular Shock player signs with Washington
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Saturday, February 02, 2013
2/02/13 at 5:59 AM
The Tulsa Shock lost one of its most productive and popular players when Ivory Latta signed Friday with the Washington Mystics.
The 5-foot-6 guard from North Carolina led the Shock in scoring (14.3) last season and was second in assists (3.3).
A six-year WNBA veteran, Latta was part of the Shock through its first three seasons in Tulsa, totaling 904 points in 76 games.
She also was a fan favorite for her outgoing personality and boundless effort on the court. She once compared herself to the "Energizer Bunny."
"Obviously, we're disappointed," Shock president Steve Swetoha said. "Ivory was a great player for us and we made every effort to sign her, but it came down to her wanting to be closer to her family. Her parents live in South Carolina, and that's only four or five hours down the freeway (from Washington). We understand that."
Latta's father has Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. She serves as a national spokeswoman for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.
Friday was the starting date for WNBA players to sign free-agent contracts.
Shock coach Gary Kloppenburg was in China working a camp and could not be reached for comment.
The loss of Latta leaves the Shock backcourt on shaky ground with veteran point guard Temeka Johnson's situation also in limbo as an unrestricted free agent. Johnson, who ranks 14th in WNBA career assists, might or might not re-sign with the Shock in the coming days.
"We're not going to panic. There are other options out there and we're looking at all of them," Swetoha said. "We just need to sit tight for a little while and see how things are going to fall. We have a plan in place and that is to build this team through the draft."
Glory Johnson and Riquna Williams made the WNBA's all-rookie team last season, and the Shock is hopeful of landing another premier player with the third selection in the 2013 draft, set for April 15.
Original Print Headline: Shock loses Latta to Mystics
Mike Brown 918-581-8390