Originally Published: Jan 23, 2010 7:54 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Reporter
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Nolan Richardson knows how to command a room.
Saturday afternoon during halftime of a Harlem Globetrotters game in Tulsa, Richardson took the microphone in front of thousands of basketball fans downtown at the BOK Center, to announce the new name of his Tulsa WNBA team.
Fans cheered as the team unveiled a bright blue Tulsa Shock logo at mid-court. The team decided on the name for Tulsa’s professional women’s basketball franchise through fan voting. The final three choices were the Shock, Fire and Tempo.
“We will, we will shock you,” joked Richardson after the announcement. “The fans chose (the name) and that’s good, because this is their team. The fans usually are going to get it right.”
Tulsa will tip-off its inaugural season this May. Richardson advertises an up-tempo style of play, much like the ’40 minutes of hell’ strategy he instilled at the University of Tulsa as their men’s head coach in the 1980’s.
“They’re going to love me. I’m like old grand-daddy,” Richardson joked about the way his players would receive him. “These are professionals. We’ll treat them as professionals.”
The Shock will stand out on the court this season. The team colors include a combination of gold, red and black. Richardson said the franchise hasn’t designed any official uniforms yet, but expects them to be eye-catching.
“They’ll be wild,” said Richardson. “They’ll fit the Shock, let’s put it that way.”
The only Shock player in town for the announcement was four-year WNBA veteran Scholanda Robinson. She arrived in Tulsa Friday afternoon and was excited to see the new venue where she’ll get to play her home games.
“Great arena, it’s beautiful,” said Robinson. “I think fans are really going to be excited about coming here and being a part of this place, and I can’t wait to play here.”
Robinson came to the Shock through the WNBA dispersal draft. Her previous team, the Sacramento Monarchs, folded. She and the rest of her former teammates joined new franchises for the upcoming 2010 season.
“I think we will make the Shock work,” she said. “These fans seem like they are pumped and so excited.”
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