Women's semipro basketball now has an in-state stop as the metro's newest team, the Oklahoma Angels, made its season debut on June 7 against the North Texas Flash. The Angels recently made the leap from a roving exhibition team to a member of the Women's Blue Chip Basketball League.
Center Shannon Mayberry played high school ball in Edmond, but then headed west to play at Pepperdine University in California. After graduating, she returned to try out for the Angels in hopes of furthering her basketball career.
"I'm looking for any opportunity to go to a higher level," she said. "If I can get overseas, that would be great. If I can stay here in the U.S., that would be even better."
General Manager Claude Stuart started the developmental team as a way for players to draw the eye of scouts and make the jump to overseas pro leagues or the WNBA. John Davis took the Angels' head coach position after serving as a substitute coach for teams in Arkansas and Dallas last season. Since the Angels weren't even assembled until the spring, Davis said it's been difficult getting the team ready to play in time for the season opener.
Any loss hurts, but Davis chalked it up to first-game jitters. At this point, Mayberry is more concerned about attracting the attention of the Oklahoma City public so they can keep the team in her home state.
"There is more respect for women's basketball in Oklahoma because OU and OSU are here and everybody goes to watch those games," she said. "For our team, we just have to keep getting the word out and getting people to show up at the games. There are a few of us who can dunk, so hopefully we'll be able to show you some stuff this year." "Charles Martin