As last night’s WNBA Finals game got underway, word began to spread that Rosalind C. Ross, a former Oklahoma standout and WNBA player, died in a tragic shooting Wednesday night.
According to a news report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ross was sitting in a car outside of a Popeyes Chicken restaurant in Milwaukee when she was shot. A 27 year-old woman was apprehended and police said the shooting was related to domestic violence.
“The entire Oklahoma women’s basketball family is saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of Rosalind Ross,” said Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale in a statement. “She was an integral part of that incredibly special 2002 national runner-up team that put our program on the map. She was the consummate competitor, a teammate in the truest sense of the word. Her contribution and legacy are forever etched in our program’s history. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and her teammates during this most difficult time.”
A native of Milwaukee, Ross was a star at Milwaukee Tech before playing on the junior college level at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. She finished her collegiate career at Oklahoma and was a member of the 2002 team that reached the NCAA Finals. She scored 17 points in the game. The Sooners lost to Connecticut 82-70. Ross and teammate Stacey Dales were the first Sooners ever named to a Final Four All-Tournament team.
Ross was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks as the 16th pick in the first round of the 2002 WNBA draft. An ACL injury prevented her from playing that season. The Sparks waived her on May 5, 2003.
Oklahoma also released a statement from Caton Hill, another member of the 2002 Oklahoma squad.
“Roz was a true, good person who was one of the grittiest, hard-working teammates I have ever had,” said Hill. “I am incredibly sad that I will never hear her high pitched-speedy banter again or be able to joke back and forth with her again. We all loved her and we all will miss her.”