WNBA fans deliver Shock

By Lynn Jacobsen
Updated: January 26, 2010

TULSA — It was a shockingly close vote. But in the end, it was the name “Shock” that resonated loudest with Tulsa’s WNBA fans.

“I like it,” exclaimed WNBA fan Dana Doyle, sporting a Shock T-shirt from the team’s days in Detroit. “It’s the only one that really made sense. They won three championships and now it’s our team.”

Susan Maahs agreed.

“Oh yeah, I like it,” the Shock season ticket holder said. “I’m ready to trade in this (Detroit Shock T-shirt) for a Tulsa Shock shirt.”

David Box, one of the initial investors in the project who brought the sports franchise to Tulsa, said he was somewhat surprised at how close the voting was by Tulsans.

“People really seemed passionate in the name they wanted,” Box said. “We left it for Tulsa to decide and they have spoken. I think the Shock is great because we carry over the history of the team while starting our own.”

Team colors are black, red and gold. The logo features a basketball on top of “Tulsa Shock” with a lightning bolt through the name. The “Tulsa” lettering has an art deco theme, influenced by the city’s rich art deco architecture.

The name fits Shock coach Nolan Richardson’s style of play perfectly.

“Absolutely,” Richardson. “I can already hear the chant already. ‘We will, we will shock you.’ It’s a name everyone knows in the WNBA.”

The Shock moniker received 38 percent of the vote followed by the Tempo with 32 percent and 30 percent for Fire.

“I’m a little disappointed,” said fan and season ticket holder Jerri Volz. “It’s an Oklahoma team, not Detroit. I was hoping for the Fire.

With Oklahoma sunsets, I thought that would be great. But I am excited about the team. For that, I’m thrilled.”

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett was on hand for the big announcement Saturday during halftime of the Harlem Globetrotters game at the BOK Center.

“This is great news,” Bartlett said of the WNBA team being in Tulsa.

“This reinforces our city being a real strong sports-oriented city.”

Tulsa’s newest player, Scholanda Robinson, also liked the choice.

“I’m sure the Detroit following will like the fact that we have kept the name,” Robinson said. “The fans know the name. It’s associated with three championships.”

Team president Steve Swetoha said the name “resonates with Tulsa fans.”