The Seattle Storm has announced that 6-4 center, Courtney Paris, a two-time WNBA rebounding peak performer, has signed a multi-year deal with the franchise.
“Courtney brings a presence inside that we have been eager to add to the roster. Her ability to rebound the basketball is a great strength,” said Storm President & GM Alisha Valavanis. “We are thrilled to welcome her to Seattle!”
Paris spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Dallas Wings, where she posted averages of 6.4 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game.
While in Tulsa with the Shock, Paris led the WNBA in rebounding twice, totaling 10.2 boards per game in 2014, followed by 9.3 per contest in 2015. Her highest scoring output also took place in Tulsa when she tallied 9.2 points per game during the 2014 season, shooting 57.4 percent from the field.
“I want to thank everyone at the Dallas Wings and Tulsa Shock for the last six seasons,” said Paris. “One of my favorite things about basketball is the people it has brought into my life, and I am so grateful for all the teammates, coaches, support staff and fans I crossed paths with in those uniforms. With that being said, I am excited for this new opportunity. I’ve always had a great respect for the Seattle Storm franchise and it has always been one of my favorite WNBA cities. I believe in the vision Dan Hughes has for the team and with the combination of talent and experience, it will be an exciting summer full of potential. I can’t wait to be part of it.”
“We are excited to welcome Courtney to the Storm family,” said head coach Dan Hughes. “She brings a unique set of talents that will blend well with our existing team. She is a physical, veteran presence in the low post that has the ability to help the us defensively as well as offensively and is an excellent teammate.”
The 2018 season will mark Paris’ ninth season in the WNBA, including her second on the west coast. She was drafted seventh overall by the now-defunct Sacramento Monarchs and made six starts in 33 games as a rookie. Paris went on to average 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in her inaugural pro season, and she ranked second among WNBA rookies in rebounding. After being claimed fourth overall in the Monarchs’ dispersal draft, Paris spent the preseason with the Chicago Sky in 2010 before being traded to Atlanta in 2011, where she spent partial seasons with the Dream through 2011-12.
The Shock, who moved from Detroit to Tulsa, Okla., in 2010, signed Paris as a free agent in 2012 and immediately reaped the benefits of the 6-4 center. Paris led the team in field goal percentage (54.2) and scored 11 points at Los Angeles in her Shock debut on June 26, 2012, and she played three more seasons in Tulsa before the franchise moved to Dallas.
In addition to WNBA success, Paris has earned multiple gold medals with USA Basketball, including hardware from the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship, 2006 FIBA Americas U20 Championship and 2005 FIBA U19 World Championship. She was the youngest member of the 2007 USA FIBA Americas Championship team that competed in Valdivia, Chile, and posted a 5-0 slate, and she also helped lead the 2007 USA U21 World Championship team to a perfect 8-0 record and gold medal in Moscow.
At the University of Oklahoma (OU), Paris simply showcased when it meant to leave a legacy behind as a student-athlete, becoming the first player, male or female, to accumulate 2,500 career points and 2,000 career rebounds. The Sooners’ all-time leading scorer (2.729) and rebounder (2,034), Paris became the NCAA’s first-ever four-time AP All-American, and she still holds 20 NCAA, 57 Big 12 and 69 OU records, including career rebounds and career double-doubles (128). Paris transformed the definition of a post player with her crafty moves and strong positioning on the block, and her strength inside once helped her record 112 straight double-doubles, also an NCAA record. In celebration of her NCAA career, Oklahoma retired her jersey during the 2017-18 basketball season.
The 2007 AP National Player of the Year and three-time Big 12 Player of the Year, Paris grew up in San Jose, Calif., and later attended Millennium High School in Piedmont, Calif., en route to booking a standout prep career and playing in the 2005 WBCA High School All-America Game.
The Storm is set to tip off its 19th WNBA season in 2018 at KeyArena on the Seattle Center campus. Season ticket memberships are available now by calling (206) 217-WNBA (9622) or by visiting StormBasketball.com.