Marion Jones signed a free-agent contract to play for the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock of the W.N.B.A. The Shock believe that Jones would be a positive look for the organization. The Shock’s Coach and General Manager, Nolan Richardson feels that everyone deserves a second chance and he wants to give that chance to Jones. Jones would be playing the point guard position for Tulsa and she will make a minimum of about $35,000 in the coming season.
Tulsa Pro Hoops LLC bought the team in October so they moved from Detroit to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa is the second smallest city with a W.N.B.A franchise. The team could’ve ended up with a completely different name even though some of the players and execs remained the same, but after the choices were narrowed down to Shock, Fire, and Tempo. After the fans voted, the team chose Tulsa Shock as the official team name and the new team colors are black, red, and gold. The new logo is a basket ball on top of “Tulsa Shock” with lighting.
Marion Jones is 5’10, and 34 years old with three children. Jones was a 5 medal winning track Olympian before she was convicted of lying about steroid use and her knowledge of a check-fraud scam involving her ex-boyfriend Tim Montgomery. Jones was sentenced to serve 6 months of prison, 2 years of probation, 2 years suspension from track competitions and 800 hours of community service working with young Athletes. Due to this conviction Jones was told by the International Association of Athletics Federation to return all metals and money including the $700,000 prize money.
Jones claimed that her former coach Trevor Graham gave her a substance and told her that it was flaxseed oil in 2000, but really it was the steroid THG, known as “the clear”. Suspicion of using steroids came when she missed her random drug test and as a result was banned for four years. It didn’t help that her boyfriend at the time was also convicted of steroid use.
Jones a former starter for NCAA’s University of North Carolina, led them to the championship game in 1994. She attended the school on a basketball scholarship. Jones had an opportunity to play in the WNBA before, originally drafted in 2003, by the Phoenix Mercury, but didn’t play because that was the same year the steroid use first broke out.
Now with the scandal behind her, Jones is ready to pursue a dream that she always wanted.