Former Storm forward Sheryl Swoopes is still working out daily, hopeful to land with a playoff-bound WNBA team. She had a lead with Sacramento early this season, but nothing worked out. Swoopes’ best bet is to land on a playoff roster after being cut by Seattle last winter, but it’s probably more likely for her to make a return next summer.
“I honestly feel like the opportunity is still there,” said Swoopes, who is pictured right by the American Lung Association. “I feel like I should be playing and I could really be helping a team right now. I’m not retired!”
At 38, she’s well aware of GMs being leery of her age and recovery from back surgery. Then there’s her hefty salary that has to remain within 4 percent of the maximum $99,500 range under the CBA.
“I feel like the year that I was out because of my back surgery (2007) and not being 100 percent healthy last year has preserved me a little bit and given me a few years to play,” she said. “But because of not being healthy last year, teams are like, ‘Do we really want to take a chance?'”
Swoopes plays in women’s leagues basketball with other former players like Jamie Redd, Washington coach Tia Jackson and NBA star Shawn Kemp’s wife, Marvena, to help keep in shape. The three-time WNBA MVP also accepted a position at the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club as a girl’s basketball coordinator. In September, she hopes to be prepared to form an AAU team and do other work with youths.
Immediately, however, Swoopes is hosting a co-ed basketball camp at the Community Center at Mercer View on Mercer Island from Aug. 16-18. The cost is $140 for all three days and $60 for one session. You can find more information here (scroll down).
Swoopes, working in conjunction with Advantage Basketball Camps, plans to rotate through the sea of campers ages 8-18, offering tips on everything from shooting to defending. The afternoon will be five-on-five play.
She’s hosting another camp in Portland from Aug. 19-21.
Yet, if a team calls, Swoopes said she’s ready to play.
“Oh, I’ll be ready,” Swoopes said. “I don’t have time to say I’m not in shape and need a couple of weeks to get ready. If I got a call today, I could leave today and play tomorrow. I’m just saying I’m in shape and that’s how good my body feels.”
I’ll have more on Swoopes’ update in Aug. 18’s newspaper.