NCAA champion, three-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time WNBA title winner Sheryl Swoopes will return to the WNBA at the age of 40 to play for the Tulsa Shock, the team announced Monday.
In a media conference Monday afternoon, Swoopes, who is openly gay, addressed speculation about how her age might affect her performance.
“Let me say that if there was an ounce of doubt in my mind that I couldn’t still play with— as people say—those young ‘uns out there, I definitely wouldn’t be doing it,” she said.
Shock coach and general manager Nolan Richardson expressed matching confidence in Swoopes’ continued potential as a player.
“We did our homework before we did anything,” Richardson said.
Swoopes previously played for the Houston Comets, earning four WNBA championships three league MVP titles during her tenure with the team. She played 29 games for the Seattle Storm in 2008 before taking a two-year hiatus from the WNBA to play basketball abroad.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about me coming back, it’s about winning — it’s what I’ve done my entire career,” Swoopes added. “I’m excited and thrilled for the opportunity to come back and be a part of the WNBA again with the Shock.”